“There is no escape for ISIS.”
In case you haven’t heard about it in the news, you might be interested to find out that ISIS is being utterly destroyed by the American military. Why? The gloves came off.
Just yesterday, Iraq announced their total defeat of ISIS within their borders. Defeat.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi told a conference in Baghdad that security forces had recaptured the last areas under Isis control along the border with Syria, state television reported on Saturday.
“Our heroic armed forces have now secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border. We defeated Daesh [Isis] through our unity and sacrifice for the nation. Long live Iraq and its people,” Mr Abadi said on social media.
It is fully liberated. Even CNN had to admit it.
But it’s not just Iraq. It’s the terror-group and aspiring caliphate’s entire territory and operating capability that has been crushed.
(…) ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.
But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch (Associated Press)
“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”
President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.
“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”
How badly are we kicking ISIS’ in the teeth? Check out this map via the BBC showing ISIS territory up through October.
And they’ve suffered more defeats since then. The map doesn’t even show the liberation of al-Qaim in western Iraq. Just imagine that dark red bit being even smaller.
From that same late November BBC report:
Syrian pro-government forces have retaken Albu Kamal, the last significant urban area held by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
The victory comes a month after a US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters seized control of the city of Raqqa, ending three years of IS rule there.
The defeat of IS in Raqqa – the de facto capital of its “caliphate” – was seen as another major victory in the battle to force the jihadist group out of Iraq and Syria.
The city of Deir al-Zour, another important target for the Syrian government, was retaken in early November.
“I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that,” said Marine Col. Seth Folsom. He was referring to changes to the rules of engagement under Trump.
Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge told Fox News that the Marines were “able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here.”
But that doesn’t mean killing civilians.
Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.”
“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”
The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.”
When President Trump told the military that they could do their job, our professional troops did exactly that. And the reward is sweeping victories.
ISIS is dangerous. It is not gone. It’s got huge sums of illicit cash, a vast wealth to use against us. They have fighters and suicide bombers and terrorists. But they are on the run, and they are being routed on the ground. Their territory and hidey-holes are being taken from them.
That’s what happens when you unleash the power of the American military.