Pentagon: ISIS exploited Turkish attacks to regain its strength, now can able to target west

The Pentagon has confirmed that ISIS mercenaries have exploited Turkish attacks on northern and eastern Syria and the US withdrawal from the region to reunite their ranks, likely that they can prepare for new attacks against the West.

CNN published a Pentagon report on the situation in northern and eastern Syria and the war on ISIS.

"The withdrawal and redeployment of US forces have affected the fight against ISIS, which continues to be a threat in the region and globally," Glen Fine, deputy inspector general, wrote in the introduction to the report.

Referring to the SDF, Fine said that as the SDF and US operations against ISIS in Syria diminish, ISIS is likely to exploit the reduction of counterterrorism pressure to reshape its operations in Syria and expand its ability to launch attacks in Western countries.

The report, published on Tuesday, paints a devastating picture of the implications of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria and Turkey's attack on US allies on the ground.

Trump's move allowed Turkey to launch attacks against the SDF, who led the fight against ISIS, and run prisons housing ISIS fighters in their autonomous region in northern and eastern Syria.

"ISIS has taken advantage of the Turkish incursion and the subsequent reduction of US forces to rebuild its capabilities and resources inside Syria and to strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad," the Pentagon's Office of Inspector General, an independent investigative body, said in its report.

"ISIS is likely to have the time and space to target the West and provide support to its 19 global branches and networks, based on information provided by the CIA," the report said.

"In the long run, ISIS will probably seek to regain control of some Syrian population centers and expand its global presence," he said.

"The killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a US raid in Syria on October 26 is likely to have little impact on ISIS's ability to reconstitute itself," the report quoted Defense Intelligence Agency as saying.

The Pentagon has no doubts in the results of report, saying they admitted that ISIS would remain a threat, an assessment shared by the Global Coalition against ISIS, an international group of more than 80 countries.



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