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No-Holds Barred, Defense Chief Unveils Trump Plan for Islamic State

20 May 2017, 12:20 | Taylor George

No-Holds Barred, Defense Chief Unveils Trump Plan for Islamic State

Iraqi civilians walk through rubble as they flee fighting between Iraqi special forces and Islamic State militants in western Mosul Iraq. The United States is looking ahead toward a decisive battleground in its bid to destro

The commander in chief, who ordered a review of the conflict after taking office, has also "directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS", Mattis added.

All three officials cautioned that the fight was far from over and that the USA would continue to look for additional ways to accelerate the fight.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the US-led coalition's military operation against the Daesh in Libya was greatly effective and led to the organization's loss of its controlled areas.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its neighbour.

"We reduced ISIS-held territory, limited their freedom of movement, destroyed a great deal of their leadership, reduced the flow of foreign fighters into and from the region, diminished their financial resources and, I think, perhaps most importantly, we've undermined the credibility of their narrative that there's a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria". More than 4 million people have been liberated and ISIS has been prevented from recapturing any territory it has lost.

West Mosul is surrounded, as is the city of Tal Afar, he said, naming Ninewa, Hawija, and the western Euphrates River Valley as next targets in Iraq. At the same time, Iraqi government forces, also supported by USA advisers and airpower, would advance toward al-Qaim.

Asked whether the proposal to Russian Federation would address the problem of a Syrian army presence in Deir el-Zour, Dunford said, "It will".

While U.S. military advisers worked in concert with the Iraqi army in the Mosul fight, the Raqqa fight will be different.

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Shortly after Mattis said that USA government would continue to support Iraqi security forces, the Army announced plans to deploy 250 soldiers from the III Corps Headquarters at Fort Hood to Iraq and Kuwait as part of OIR.

Dunford said the US has been supplying weapons to Arab members of the SDF and has "stockpiled equipment and were prepared to quickly field it" to the group's Kurdish branch.

Deir el-Zour presents an especially tricky challenge because the Syrian military has a base there and the US has avoided tangling with Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces other than an April 7 cruise missile strike.

Russia's support for the Syrian government is a complicating factor in the battle to rid Syria of IS.

While the Middle Euphrates River Valley corridor may be the next key battleground, USA officials believe it will not be the last.

In their assessment for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank, defense analysts Brands and Feaver said defeating IS militarily won't yield a decisive victory in the broader fight against Islamic extremism.

Asked about Beijing and Moscow's support for the six previous rounds of United Nations sanctions, Kim said both countries are "close neighbors" who "understand our nuclear projection occurred through the US continued nuclear threat and its hostile policy" toward North Korea.

"We don't simply transplant this problem from one place to another", he said.



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