It looks like Trump was right yesterday when he said the last part of the ISIS caliphate and Syria would soon be dealt with.
Reports are from Baghouz, Syria that silence has fallen over the area as local media reports that the last of the ISIS caliphate has been defeated.
Benjamin Hall reporters from Baghouz:
— The Daily Briefing (@dailybriefing) March 21, 2019
And here’s more from Hall at Fox News:
The caliphate has crumbled, and the final offensive is over. While the official announcement hasn’t yet been made – Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated.
It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone.
Troops here are now bringing down the black flags of ISIS. The flags no longer fly over the town, instilling fear.
The last five days, Fox News has witnessed the last major offensive up close -– with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.
Inside Baghouz, it’s easy to see how they hid for so long – not just in tunnels but trenches and hundreds of cubby holes covered by tarpaulins, which blend in perfectly to the dirt.
In the end, the majority surrendered. In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.
This final corner of the caliphate was in the far eastern desert of Syria– it was where ISIS first captured territory, and it is where they finally lost.
A clearing operation is now underway in the town– and an announcement is expected soon.
This is really great news on the ISIS front. Obama could have done this in 2014, but instead he let ISIS become so huge that it’s taken far too long to destroy their caliphate.
However, note that this is just in Syria. ISIS still exists in many other places like Afghanistan and Libya.
But this is a great leap forward and I’m glad the US and our partners were able to finally make this happen.
As far as what happens now, Hall reports:
SDF fighters are all so grateful to the U.S., not just for their help in the battle, but now for its decision to leave troops here when it’s done. Reports now suggest the figure may be around 1,000 staying.
I’m really glad about this too. But I’m sure Erdogan is not happy about this and I expect it will cause problems in the near future.