daesh days are numbered mattis
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Daesh days are numbered: Mattis

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Daesh days are numbered: Mattis

Fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces advance towards the city of Tal Afar
Abu Dhabi - Emirates Voice

baghdad - Expelled from their main stronghold in northern Iraq, Daesh militants are now trapped in a military vise that will squeeze them on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said.

Mattis arrived in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced visit on Tuesday just hours after President Donald Trump outlined a fresh approach to the stalemated war in Afghanistan. Trump also has vowed to take a more aggressive, effective approach against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, but he has yet to unveil a strategy for that conflict that differs greatly from his predecessor's.

In Baghdad, Mattis was meeting with senior Iraqi government leaders and with US commanders. He also planned to meet in Irbil with Massoud Barzani, leader of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region that has helped fight Daesh. Mattis told reporters before departing from neighboring Jordan that the so-called Middle Euphrates River Valley - roughly from the western Iraqi city of Al Qaim to the eastern Syrian city of Der El Zour - will be liberated in time, as Daesh gets hit from both ends of the valley that bisects Iraq and Syria.

"You see, Daesh is now caught in-between converging forces," he said. "So Daesh's days are certainly numbered, but it's not over yet and it's not going to be over any time soon."
Mattis referred to this area as "Daesh last stand."

Unlike the war in Afghanistan, Iraq offers a more positive narrative for the White House, at least for now. Having enabled Iraqi government forces to reclaim the Daesh prized possession of Mosul in July, the US military effort is showing tangible progress and the Pentagon can credibly assert that momentum is on Iraq's side. Brett McGurk, the administration's special envoy to the counter-Daesh coalition, credits the Trump administration for having accelerated gains against the militants. He said Monday that about one-third of all territory regained in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been retaken in the last six or seven months.

"I think that's quite significant and partially due to the fact we're moving faster, more effectively," as a result of Trump's delegation of battlefield authorities to commanders in the field, McGurk said. He said this "has really made a difference on the ground. I have seen that with my own eyes." -

It seems likely that in coming months the US president may be in position to declare a victory of sorts in Iraq.

Source: Khaleej Times

 

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