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In an unannounced trip to Iraq, a country that has seen horrific war and terrorism over the last decade, Secretary of Defense General James Mattis was making a statement.
The general landed in Iraq Tuesday morning, just hours after President Trump made an announcement that America will be sending more troops to Afghanistan. Trump made it clear in his remarks that he is going to be empowering his generals to kill the enemy, whom he referred to as “losers.”
Mattis wasted no time getting to the point of his trip: announcing the imminent death and destruction of ISIS. Over the past four years, the brutal Islamic terrorist group has gobbled up large portions of Iraq and Syria, inflicting horrific brutalities on the populations it controls. Mattis landed in Iraq to send a direct message to ISIS that its days are literally numbered.
In a press conference upon his arrival Mattis made the following points:
ISIS will not retake territory and cannot stand up to American forces:
“[ISIS] have been shown to be unable to stand up to our team in combat and they have not retaken one inch of ground that they've lost.”
ISIS is trapped:
“You see, ISIS is now caught in-between converging forces. So ISIS’s days are certainly numbered, but it’s not over yet and it’s not going to be over any time soon.”
ISIS is a bunch of cowards:
“An enemy that hides behind women and children are showing who are the people violating every standard of decency and fills us with conviction [for] what we have to do about this enemy.”
America is the “good guy”:
“I've seen people fleeing to ISF (Iraqi security forces) and feeling safe when they get to them. That alone is more telling than anything there, you see people risking their lives getting from one side to another. We are the good guys and the innocent people in the battlefield know the difference.”
Mattis named the fight:
“ISIS’s last stand.”
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, joined Mattis at the press conference and said ISIS will be defeated, and their defeat is “inevitable” (emphasis added):
“A year ago the liberation of Mosul was just some ideas and lines in paper, the liberation of Raqqa was not even that. This week saw the start of Tal Afar after the hard-won victory in Mosul. We've seen our Iraqi partners quickly refit and transition their force into a new defensive in Tal Afar. In Syria we're in our third month to defeat ISIS. Daesh's defeat is inevitable. They are surrounded and cut off but their cruelty continues to shine through as they hide among women and children.”
Since the beginning of the Trump administration, America, along with ISF, have ramped up its strategy in fighting ISIS. The once sprawling territory controlled by the terror group has been shrunk to a fraction of its previous control. The assault to retake the final city controlled in Iraq by ISIS began this week.
Mattis keeps ISIS awake at night.