President Donald Trump recently made an announcement regarding the efforts against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
According to Politico, US-backed forces pushed ISIS out the city of Raqqa, which was seen as a capital for the Islamic extremist group. On Saturday, the White House released a statement touting the victory. It read, “The defeat of ISIS in Raqqa represents a critical breakthrough in our worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS and its wicked ideology,” the statement read. “With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.”
In the statement, the White House discussed its role in helping the Syrian Democratic Forces — a Kurdish-led group — dismantle ISIS’ presence in the region. On Friday, they declared that the area was free of extremists, and gave control to a local council of officials and tribal leaders.
One of the president’s main promises from the campaign trail was that the United States would knock out ISIS. Trump has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to eliminating radical Islamic extremism. After taking office, he issued military orders that gave our armed forces “the full authorities to achieve this mission.”
Earlier this year, the president made adjustments to the rules of engagement for our troops, which enabled them to more effectively fight ISIS in Iraq. It seems to be working. “We have made, alongside our coalition partners, more progress against these evil terrorists in the past several months than in the past several years,” Trump said.
Predictably, the left has worked to diminish the administration’s accomplishments. Former Obama administration officials claim that the victory in Raqqa has nothing to do with the president. In an interview with CNN, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the plan to take the city was ordered in 2015, “the plan … was laid out two years ago, and has been executed pretty much in the manner and the schedule that was foreseen then,” he said.
The former defense secretary did not mention the changes that the president made after taking office.
Of course, the left-wing establishment media is doing their best to make sure the American public hears as little as possible about this victory. Instead, they have chosen to focus on the president’s feud with Rep. Frederica Wilson, who used his phone call with a war widow to launch a political attack.
The statement also said that the fight against the Islamic State “will soon transition into a new phase.” In this phase, we will support local security forces that are fighting to reduce violence across Syria.
The rise of ISIS was one of Former President Barack Obama’s biggest blunders. His decision to prematurely pull our troops out of Iraq left a vacuum that the organization was able to fill. Since then, they terrorized Iraq, Syria, and other countries, conquering large swaths of land.
Now the group is on the decline — and victories like the one in Raqqa are further indicators that ISIS is in its death throes. However, the West needs to remain vigilant. Now that the group has lost most of its territory, it is resorting to smaller terrorist attacks in western nations — especially in Europe. If the government is going to protect American citizens from terrorist attacks, they must also have a strategy for countering extremism even after ISIS loses all of its territories.