Small Wars Journal

U.S.-Led Coalition Captures Last ISIS Bastion in Syria, Ending Caliphate

U.S.-Led Coalition Captures Last ISIS Bastion in Syria, Ending Caliphate by Sune Engel Rasmussen – Wall Street Journal

U.S.-backed forces ousted Islamic State from its last outpost in Syria, marking the end of a nearly five-year campaign that freed swaths of territory from the extremist group’s brutal rule and returned it to a guerrilla insurgency.

 

The demise of the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate—which once covered an area the size of Portugal—comes as President Trump prepares to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

 

Still, Islamic State fighters in the region and the group’s followers elsewhere remain a threat, according to U.S. officials and analysts, who have warned that a drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria could allow the group to rebound.

 

In a monthslong campaign, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, captured villages in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzour province where Islamic State fighters had been cornered and holding out in recent months, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said Saturday on Twitter…

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