Middle East Military Terrorism

With the defeat of ISIS in Mosul, senior US commander in Iraq cautions against possible “ISIS 2.0”

An Iraqi soldier displays a captured ISIS flag in Mosul (Reuters)

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In an hour-long briefing to worldwide media outlets, Lt Gen Stephen Townsend, the senior commander in the war against ISIS, told reporters that even though Mosul is firmly in Coalition control, the war against ISIS is not over.

BBC reports that the General stated:

“If we’re to keep… ISIS 2.0 from emerging, the Iraqi government is going to have to do something pretty significantly different,” he said.

“They’re going to have to reach out and reconcile with the Sunni population, and make them feel like their government in Baghdad represents them.”

In a later statement, President Trump congratulated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his forces “for victory over terrorists who are the enemies of all civilized people.”

Mosul Destruction AFP
Photo of  Mosul (AFP)

Although there are strong reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that top ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a recent air strike, the US Department of Defense said it had no immediate corroboration of this information.  Lt Gen Townsend, when pressed by reporters to provide additional information as to the voracity of these reports, stated “Quite honestly, I don’t know.  I hope he’s deader than a doornail.”

As the battle against ISIS continues, we will be providing updates on the fight.

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