Only 1k ISIS fighters remain in Syria and Iraq, Task Force says

28 December, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • December 27 2017 12:01am The Times Beating a Retreat British citizens who fought for Islamic State must now be located and prosecuted

An effort to eliminate members of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria will be completed in 2018, the chief of the Russian General Staff, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said.

Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov described U.S. explanations about its base in southern Syria's At-Tanf as "unintelligible", raising more questions over the presence of the base in an area that is now liberated by terrorists.

But he later clarified the coalition would only defeat ISIS "in areas controlled by partner forces", leaving the Syrian regime and their Russian backers to oust the ISIS fighters that have moved west.

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"We say that the location of the U.S. base is contrary to common sense, especially now, when Syrian territory has been liberated from ISIL formations". The unrest in Syria allowed ISIS, the self-styled jihadist extremist group, to control parts of the country, but the group has now lost nearly all of its territory.

In one of his latest statements, Gerasimov already explained that former ISIL terrorists have formed the so-called New Syrian Army, whose task is to destabilize the situation in the country.

The U.S. has faced similar, inaccurate accusations like this from Russian Federation in the past.

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Gedney, as well as USA military leadership, have long expressed doubt in the regime's desire and ability to fight ISIS.

After a year in which USA -backed forces drove ISIS militants from strongholds in Iraq and Syria, experts warn that the terrorist group will remain a threat in 2018 as what some call a "virtual caliphate", NBC News reported.

In November, Russia's defense ministry claimed it had evidence of the USA supporting ISIS. Iraq and Syria have both declared victory over IS in recent weeks. "There are estimated to be less than 1,000 ISIS terrorists in our combined joint area of operations, most of whom are being hunted down in the desert regions in eastern Syria and Western Iraq", the US-led coalition told Reuters.

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For its part, the Iraqi government said "final victory" was achieved against Daesh on December 9.

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