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ISIS Will Resurge If Pressure Is Taken Off For Too Long: US Commander

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A top General in charge of the U.S. military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria warned that the dreaded terrorist outfit has the potential to resurge if pressure is taken off from them for too long a period of time.

Addressing a news conference at the Pentagon, Air Force Maj. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich said he doesn't think there is an immediate threat of an ISIS resurgence, but "the more time we take pressure off them, the more that threat will continue to grow."

Even amid significant successes, the enduring defeat of ISIS remains the focus of U.S. forces and partners in Iraq and Syria, the deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told reporters.

He said the U.S. forces have made very good progress, to the point they are able to shift the focus of CJTF-OIR more along the lines of training, advising and assisting the Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces on the Syrian side of the border. "They've shown themselves to be willing partners throughout the last nine months I've been deployed there," the General added.

The Pentagon stays in constant contact and communication with its partners in Iraq and Syria, who have been helpful in assisting the United States with force-protection concerns over the last several weeks, Grynkewich said.

In Syria, he said, the United States continues to partner with the SDF in addition to its efforts to secure critical infrastructure to prevent any of it from falling back into the hands of ISIS.

Gen. Grynkewich's assessment comes a month after Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the Congress that the United States has had success in defeating ISIS, including the destruction of the physical caliphate, the liberation of 7.7 million people who had been living under the caliphate's rule, and a series of successful operations that resulted in the deaths of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and a top deputy.

Hundreds of U.S. troops have left northern Syria, and are being re-deployed to Iraq to fight Islamic State terrorists in that country.

As per the Trump administration's decision, around 600 U.S. troops will remain in Syria to ensure that ISIS doesn't re-emerge and get money from oil fields.

Pentagon estimates that there are roughly 11,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq, but they are ineffectual. They are finding it difficult to move people and material around. They have been forced into marginal areas and cut off from sources of funding and recruiting.

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