Coalition Declares it Won't Conduct Ops in Syrian Areas Controlled by Damascus
28 December, 2017, 01:51 | Author: Mable Gonzales
But he later clarified the coalition would only defeat ISIS "in areas controlled by partner forces", leaving the Syrian regime and their Russian backers to oust the ISIS fighters that have moved west. "They seem to be moving with impunity through the regime-held territory, showing that the regime is clearly either unwilling or unable to defeat Daesh within their borders", Gedney told reporters, adding that the coalition forces had seen Daesh fighters moving around areas near the USA military base at al-Tanf in Syria. We report today that thousands of Westerners serving with Isis forces have escaped encirclement in the final battles along the border between Syria and Iraq. The U.S. said the military base is a temporary facility to train partner forces to fight ISIS, according to Reuters.
"We will continue to prevent conflicts with Russians, but we don't intend to continue operations in areas controlled by Assad", Gedney said. The unrest in Syria allowed ISIS, the self-styled jihadist extremist group, to control parts of the country, but the group has now lost nearly all of its territory.
A two-star British general in the coalition's war against ISIS confirmed the "movement of limited numbers of ISIS militants westwards", but said the US -led coalition won't pursue them because the area is operated by the regime.
Russia's top general accused the USA military of training former Islamic State (ISIS) soldiers at an army base in Syria in order to cause havoc in the country. US troops have served as advisers on the ground with Iraqi government forces and with Kurdish and Arab groups in Syria. "Our pursuit of these terrorists is as tenacious and determined as ever", he said.
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However, analysts say the military campaign only addressed the territorial aspect of ISIS and that the group is retreating into a "virtual caliphate", where it will attempt to remain relevant and inspire more lone wolf attacks.
"Our coalition will remain committed to the mission in Syria" until such time as political leaders decide otherwise, he said.
Despite the coalition's successes in Syria and Iraq this year, there were no plans as yet to begin troop withdrawals, Gedney said.
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