The United States is winning its fight against the Islamic State group and enlarging an international coalition to defeat the group, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday, hours after President Donald Trump said “ISIS is falling fast, very fast.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis was asked a tough question about the war against ISIS on Thursday.
SecSef Mattis leaving House briefing on ISIS.
Me: Progress against ISIS?
Mattis: “We’re winning. They’re losing.” pic.twitter.com/MhsRKe3UqE
— Leandra Bernstein (@LeandraB_sbg) July 20, 2017
Without wasting any time, Mattis initially answered the question with four epic words.
“We’re winning. They’re losing,” the secretary told reporters as he left the classified briefing.
Mattis was on the Hill for the second time this week along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Brett McGurk, the top U.S. envoy to the global anti-ISIS coalition.
Gen. Dunford said he was optimistic about the progress being made on the ground, comparing the current state of affairs to the dire conditions in late 2013 and 2014 when ISIS began capturing large swaths of Iraq and Syria.
“If you look at where we were 24 months ago, you can look at the territory that they held, you can look at the resources that they had available, you could look at the potential for them to conduct external operations, and in all those areas we’ve made great progress,” Dunford told Sinclair Broadcast Group.
In just the past month, Iraqi President Haider al-Abadi was able to declare victory over ISIS in Mosul. In Syria, U.S.-backed forces have effectively surrounded ISIS’ self-declared capital of Raqqa.
When ISIS what at it’s strongest, they controlled approximately 40 percent of the country’s territory, they are now limited to small portions of territory around Mosul and in the Anbar Province bordering Syria.
ISIS’s primary sources of revenue have also dried up. Defense analysts at IHS Markit estimate that the terrorist group has lost 80 percent of its funds since 2015.
Sources: Conservative Tribune
Photo Credit: Twitter/Leandra Bernstein