ISIS is stronger in “some areas” of Syria and Iraq – US

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the Islamic State remained a threat, adding that it was “stronger today than it was three or four years ago” in “some areas” in Iraq and Syria.

Last spring, the US-led international coalition announced the end of the “caliphate” set up by the jihadist group on large territory in these two countries in 2014.

U.S. President Donald Trump also decided at the end of 2018 to withdraw the bulk of his country’s troops deployed in Syria after the defeat of the militant group.

In a recent report, the Pentagon’s inspectorate noted the group’s “re-emergence” when it “partially withdrew” from Syria.

“Even if the ‘Caliphate’ loses its territory, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has strengthened its capabilities in Iraq and regained its activity in Syria during the current chapter.”

This warning was supported by a number of experts and officials.

Pompeo said the situation was “complicated” when asked about the organization’s renewed activity, in an interview with CBS.

“There are areas where the organization is stronger today than it was three or four years ago. But the caliphate is no longer there and their ability to launch attacks abroad has fallen sharply,” he said.

“We have significantly reduced their risk, not quite but in a tangible way. We are very comfortable with that.”

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