Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal

  • Fox News | by: Jennifer Griffin and Samuel Chamberlain |
  • 2019-02-01
A forthcoming report from the Pentagon's inspector general says the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group will regain territory it has lost in Syria in a matter of months without military pressure, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News late Thursday.

The draft report will be delivered to Pentagon officials and lawmakers on Friday, with the full report due to be made public Monday. NBC News first reported on the draft's conclusion.

The inspector general's office releases quarterly reports about the progress of the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria, dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve. The office's previous quarterly report, made public in November, made headlines when it estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 ISIS fighters were still in Iraq and Syria.

The same report said that ISIS had lost all of the territory it had held in Iraq and all but 1 percent of the territory it once held in Syria. However, it added that U.S. military officials and United Nations monitors said that militants had gone underground and were waging an "effective clandestine" insurgency in both countries.

"Thousands of ISIS fighters remain in Syria. In the near term, we expect they will focus on guerrilla-type tactics after losing the remaining ground under ISIS control," a second senior U.S. defense official told Fox News. "I believe it’s fair to say that they could retake some territory if they are not subject to pressure. We are working on ways to sustain pressure after U.S. ground forces have withdrawn."

Comments

Privacy Policy

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

Pentagon watchdog warns ISIS could retake Syrian territory in months after US withdrawal respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.