U.S. envoy: Trump’s policies have ‘dramatically accelerated progress’ against ISIS

U.S. envoy: Trump’s policies have ‘dramatically accelerated progress’ against ISIS
(Image: Screen grab of AP video, YouTube)

President Donald Trump called attention Saturday to major gains U.S.-backed forces have made against ISIS, citing claims by a top American diplomat that the administration’s polices are directly responsible for that success.

Brett McGurk, the Department of State’s senior envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said Friday that Trump’s policies, including delegating decision-making to U.S. military commanders in the field, have “dramatically accelerated progress” against the militant group.

About a third of territory captured from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been taken in the past six months, according to McGurk.

Trump publicized that assessment on Twitter, sharing The Washington Post’s story headlined, “Under Trump, gains against ISIS have ‘dramatically accelerated.’”

McGurk told reporters Friday that ISIS losses in Iraq and Syria add up to about 27,000 square miles of territory from the group’s peak holdings in 2015. About 8,000 square miles of that territory have been retaken under Trump, he said.

The anti-ISIS envoy said delegating authority to commanders in theater has allowed U.S. forces to be more responsive to changing conditions on the ground. The administration’s “campaign of annihilation” — promoted by Defense Secretary James Mattis — has put U.S.-backed forces on the verge of victory in Raqqa, the principal ISIS stronghold in Syria. McGurk said Friday he expects that 2,000 militants “most likely will die in Raqqa.”

McGurk, who was envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition during the Obama administration, said Trump’s polices have also lead to progress on the humanitarian front. The displacement of civilians in Syria and Iraq has nearly stopped, and hundreds of thousands of previously displaced people have been able to return to their homes in territory once controlled by ISIS, McGurk said.

This report, by Will Racke, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.