Still frame from one of ISIS's propaganda videos.

< Go to Homepage

ISIS Begins Its Comeback As Trump Chooses To Stay in Syria

The White House has reversed course on a planned troop withdrawal.

In April, Donald Trump vowed to bring American troops home from Syria, saying that the United States had spent trillions of dollars in the Middle East over the past 17 years and “we get nothing—nothing out of it,” according to The New Yorker. He went on to say that the U.S. has been “very successful against ISIS,” but that he was going to bring the troops back home. At this point, 95 percent of the ISIS pseudo-caliphate in Syria and Iraq, previously the size of Indiana, had been liberated.

But now, ISIS is making a comeback. The frequency of the group’s attacks is up and apparently, The New Yorker reports, are its numbers. A new U.N. report says that the terrorist organization is rebooting its sophisticated media outreach. Russia claimed it killed the elusive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in May 2017 during air strikes, but he reemerged this month with an hour-long broadcast, his first in a year. Two reports this month, one by the United Nations and one by Trump’s Defense Department, contradict earlier U.S. claims that most ISIS fighters had been eliminated. The Pentagon report says that ISIS has 14,000 fighters in Syria, with up to 17,000 in . Iraq.

Therefore, the Trump Administration has reversed its course, and plans on keeping U.S. troops in Syria indefinitely.

“We’re remaining in Syria,” Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, told reporters on August 17th, according to The New Yorker. “The focus is the enduring defeat of ISIS. We still have not launched the final phase to defeat the physical caliphate. That is actually being prepared now, and that will come at a time of our choosing, but it is coming.”

Read the full story at The New Yorker