White House: ISIS Has Been ‘100 Percent Eliminated’ In Syria

March 22, 2019 - 4:17 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The White House announced Friday that all Islamic State-held territory in Syria has been “100 percent eliminated.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders made the announcement to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Donald Trump traveled to Florida.

President Trump has been teasing the victory for the past several days and told reporters that he expected ISIS to be defeated within the week.

According to CBS News White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, President Trump showed reporters a map of Iraq and Syria which showed that the terrorist organization no longer controlled any territories in the region.

“So there’s ISIS, and that’s what we have right now, as of last night,” Trump said while displaying the map showing the complete elimination of the caliphate.

The president was briefed on the development by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, according to Sanders.

Officials familiar with the situation in Syria noted Friday that the Syrian Democratic Forces are still battling the last remaining ISIS fighters, who are believed to be holed up in tunnels along the river cliffs in Baghouz, Syria. They have refused to surrender.

Syrian forces have yet to declare a victory, and there is currently no plan to.

President Trump said "it's about time" that the group no longer controls territory in the region.

The campaign by U.S. and coalition forces has spanned over five years and two presidencies, unleashed more than 100,000 bombs and killed an untold numbers of civilians.

The complete fall of IS in Syria would result in the end of the group's self-declared caliphate, which once stretched across large parts of Syria and Iraq.