Five years ago, ISIS was a powerful, destructive force in the Middle East. By late May 2015, the terrorist group would control half of Syria—including all of the country’s border crossings with Iraq.
The American people were rightly worried. Then-candidate Donald J. Trump made them two solemn promises. The first was that America and its allies would defeat ISIS. The second was that our troops would never be put in harm’s way longer than absolutely necessary to protect the American people.
In his first days in office, President Trump changed the rules of engagement, empowering U.S. military commanders on the ground. The results were unmistakable. In August 2017, The Washington Post reported that gains against ISIS had “dramatically” accelerated on his watch: “Nearly a third of territory reclaimed from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been won in the past six months.”
Eight months later, in April 2018, President Trump announced that “over the last year, nearly 100 percent of the territory once controlled by the so-called ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been liberated and eliminated.”
Today, the President is honoring his promise. “As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home,” he said in April. This morning, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that “we have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”
Statement from @PressSec: “Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate. . .”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 19, 2018
The Global Coalition against ISIS will not end. “The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary.”
Source: White House