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Trump Claims Islamic State Caliphate Has Been "Decimated"


President Donald Trump has claimed the Islamic State caliphate has been "decimated" and said he will make a formal announcement regarding complete control of the territory previously held by the militant group "sometime probably next week."

Commander in Chief of U.S. forces made the important claim in his address to the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

The meeting endorsed U.S. military and intelligence reports that the dreaded terrorists could stage a comeback unless sustained counter-terrorism pressure is maintained.

Trump made the 100 percent liberation of the caliphate claim a few weeks after announcing a U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria without consulting coalition allies.

Trump said that by executing a plan by the Pentagon, produced after he became president, the U.S. military, its coalition partners, and the Syrian Democratic Forces have liberated virtually all of the territory previously held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

"Critically, ISIS also now lacks a significant territorial base from which to launch terrorist attacks against other countries, recruit foreign fighters, and spread havoc across the region. Their land is gone. It's a big factor," Trump told the ministers of the coalition, comprising 74 countries, out of which 30 are contributing troops to fight the global menace.

Trump noted that over the past two years, the coalition has retaken more than 20,000 square miles of land, secured one battlefield, and retaken both Mosul and Raqqa.

ISIS can no longer claim widespread ownership over local governments in Syria and Iraq, according to him.

Trump said that more than 60 "high-value" ISIS leaders were eliminated but cautioned that the remaining cadres may re-group.

In a statement released later, the Ministers of the Global Coalition said they will open a discussion to plan the next phase of the campaign - to counter ISIS's reversion to insurgency in Syria and Iraq.

The plan could include addressing ISIS's trans-border networks, branches, and affiliates, undermining its brand by rolling back its access to the information space, and increasing pressure to disrupt its trans-regional network.

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