A senior US general warns of declaring victory over IS

AFP reported that the commander of US Special Forces, General Raymond Thomas, has warned against declaring "victory" over IS, which is still defending its last pockets in Syria.

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During a hearing before the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, a Senator asked Gen. Raymond Thomas asked about the victory in Syria and added "I hesitate to use the word of victory instead of a goal."

He added, "The goal is to reduce the threat in that region ... and we are about to reduce this threat ... and to identify the capabilities that must remain in place within the region to ensure this goal."

President Donald Trump said in December 2018 that he would withdraw US forces from Syria, including 2,000 Special Forces troops, and said Washington had "won" the war.

Since Trump's statement, US officials have been keen underestimate declaration of the final victory over the terrorists, noting that IS will remain a threat even after losing control of the so-called "Caliphate" it announced in 2014.

As for the Syrian Kurdish fighters and the question of weakening them before Turkey after the expected US withdrawal, the general said, "We are considering solutions to maintain contact with them and a certain level of support for them."

The US general also said he was not confident of assessing the situation in Syria, "It is one of the most complex challenges our forces have faced for some time."

A.H

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