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Islamic State Contained In Syria, Changing Tactics: US

Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces continue to contain Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters in areas of the middle Euphrates River valley, a top US defense officer in charge of the U.S. military campaign against the dreaded terorist group said Wednesday.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon briefed reporters at the Pentagon from Baghdad and said that SDF forces, with coalition support, "continue to look for opportunities to exploit ISIS weaknesses and conduct strikes and attacks against these remaining terrorists."

He said Syrian forces are continuing to secure areas they have liberated, especially in and around Raqqa, which was the capital of the self-proclaimed ISIS caliphate. Syrian internal security forces are removing thousands of improvised explosive devices and weapons caches the terror group planted, Dillon added.

In Iraq, security and stability operations continue, and Iraqi security forces continue to search for ISIS terrorists. Dillon warned that while ISIS has gone underground in an attempt to regroup, it is still a threat in the country.

The ISF is planning and implementing security measures with coalition support in this critical period leading up to parliamentary elections in May.

More work remains to be done in Iraq, Dillon said. ISIS is an adaptive and determined enemy, according to him.

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