The Pentagon leadership has made no bones about not being keen on
withdrawing from Syria, and even as they claim to be resigned to doing
so, they continue to issue reports clearly intended to scare the
administration away from the plan.
This new report, the full contents of which will be available on Monday, affirms that ISIS has lost materially of its its territory in both Iraq and Syria, but then warns it is conceivable that ISIS might regain some territory if left totally alone to do so.
The message is intended to be interpreted by US readers as saying the US needs to keep pressuring ISIS militarily, though in practice it really just means that any attempts by ISIS to reclaim lost territory need to be resisted by somebody, which they would with or without a US presence.
With territory estimated at less than five square kilometers inside Syria, ISIS has for all intents and purposes had to relocate its entire force into the deserts of Syria and Iraq. Yet the forces in the desert clearly don’t pose a serious threat to retake anything, or they’d be trying to retake something as it is. US troops, after all, are not on the front lines with ISIS forces to begin with, and the groups that are aren’t going anywhere.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Envoy Elliott Abrams Heads to Colombia to Oversee Aid Delegation - February 22nd, 2019
- Officials Say Hundreds of ISIS Fled Syria Into Iraq in Past Six Months - February 22nd, 2019
- Abe Says Japan Will Ignore Okinawan Referendum on US Base - February 22nd, 2019
- Civilian Convoy Leaves Last ISIS Territory in Eastern Syria - February 22nd, 2019
- UN Watchdog Again Confirms Iran in Compliance With P5+1 Nuclear Deal - February 22nd, 2019