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Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

The Islamic State has lost the vast majority of physical territory it once held, but fully defeating the terrorist group and rooting out sleeper cells that have spread across the Middle East and Africa “could take years,” the Defense Department inspector general said in a sweeping report Monday that suggests final victory remains far off.

The IG said that a “reduced, covert version” of the Islamic State — also known as ISIS — continues a presence not just in Iraq and Syria but also in Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. ISIS, the report says, has evolved “from a land-holding terrorist entity to an insurgency” that operates numerous clandestine cells around the world.

“Clearing terrorists from remote and largely ungoverned terrain is a low and difficult process, and eliminating ISISfrom rural Iraq and Syria could take years,” the report says.

The Pentagon in recent months has put forward two separate narratives in describing the fight against ISIS, which began in 2014 under then-President Obama and has continued under President Trump. At the time the U.S.-led, international operation began, ISIS held vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria and boasted a sizable fighting force.

Now, Defense Department officials say ISIS has been “territorially defeated,” and has lost nearly all of the land it once used as a base of operations. Read more

 

Read also: Trump vows Cabinet changes coming after midterm elections

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says

Elimination of ISIS ‘could take years,’ Pentagon inspector general says