UPDATED 10:08 AM PT — Friday, March 01, 2019
U.S.-backed forces in Syria are vowing to defeat ISIS in a week. The Kurdish forces are currently waging war on the Islamic State’s last 1.5-square miles of territory in the region.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been fighting to root out the terrorists from their last stronghold, but thousands of civilians trying to flee the clashes have complicated the situation.
Despite the setbacks, the Kurdish force’s commander is saying there will be a complete victory of ISIS within the week, which is something President Trump echoed while in Alaska on Thursday.
“We just took over, you know, you kept hearing it was 90-percent, 92-percent, the caliphate in Syria, now it’s 100-percent, we just took over,” he stated. “That means the area of the land, that we just have 100-percent, in a much shorter period of time than it was supposed to take.”
President Trump’s comments came hours after the SDF commander publicized a video showing him greeting 24 Kurdish fighters released from ISIS captivity. He didn’t discuss how the fighters were released or if there are ongoing negotiations with ISIS.
The special United Nations envoy to Syria also said on Thursday that ISIS’s territorial defeat was near, but he warned the group could reemerge. He said he is working to take concrete action to address the issue of detainees, abductees, and missing persons as well as to work on a new constitution for the country.
Despite the imminent defeat of ISIS, Syria is still in political turmoil after years of civil war. More than five million Syrians fled to nearby countries since the start of the war seven-years ago. A UN expert said even though violence is down in Syria, many refugees are not returning home because of ongoing crimes against humanity.
France, Germany, and the U.K. confirmed they won’t help rebuild Syria until a political transition is underway. For many Syrians the war is not over, even though ISIS is nearly defeated.