Hundreds of Isis Fighters Scramble to Surrender as Us Issues New Warning
Hundreds of Islamic State fighters surrendered on Wednesday and hundreds more of their jihadist comrades were caught trying to escape the hardline group’s last, tiny scrap of land in eastern Syria, said a commander in the militia besieging it.
Islamic State fighters holed up in the enclave at Baghouz near the Iraqi border have been giving up in large numbers this week following a ferocious assault on their enclave on Saturday and Sunday, though it is unclear how many more remain inside.
Trump originally wanted to bring U.S. troops home but after further review said that it was necessary to push through to secure safety in the region.
The mass surrender followed the announcement that troops would remain in the area, though reduced. One military official warns that this is ‘far from over’.
“Reduction of the physical caliphate is a monumental military accomplishment but the fight against ISIS and violent extremism is far from over,” Gen. Joseph Votel the commander of US Central Command told the House Armed Services Committee.
“What we are seeing now is not the surrender of ISIS as an organization but a calculated decision to preserve the safety of their families and the preservation of their capabilities by taking their chances in camps for internally displaced persons and going to ground in remote areas and waiting for the right time to resurge,” Votel said.
“The ISIS population being evacuated from the remaining vestiges of the caliphate largely remains unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized,” he added, citing observations from US troops on the ground in Syria.
Votel went on to describe what the next phase of the fight against ISIS will look like, saying “we will see low-level attacks, we’ll see assassinations, we’ll see IED attacks, we’ll see ambush type things as they begin to emerge from this.”
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