Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mattis: Trump’s Tactics Call For US To ‘Annihilate’ ISIS Soldiers In Syria

 "We're there to drive ISIS to its knees."

President Donald Trump wants the Pentagon to “annihilate” ISIS fighters in Syria, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday.
Trump “directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS,” Mattis said.
By “taking the time up front to surround these locations instead of simply shoving them from one to another” the forces fighting ISIS can “carry out the annihilation campaign so we don’t simply transplant this problem from one location to another,” he said.

Mattis said this is not only part of the campaign to save Syria, but also to protect Europe from having fighters who left to join ISIS return to become terrorists.

“The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters,” Mattis said.
“We’ve accelerated the campaign,” Mattis said. “We’re there to drive ISIS to its knees.”
Mattis indicated American strategy changed after a Trump-ordered review of existing strategies and tactics against ISIS. Two changes emerged from that process.
“First, he delegated authority to the right level to aggressively — and in a timely manner — move against enemy vulnerabilities,” Mattis said, meaning battlefield commanders have more authority to make decisions.
The second new element is to wipe out those fighting for ISIS.

“We now take the time to surround them — and why do we do it?” Mattis said. “We carry out the annihilation campaign” so that “the foreign fighters do not get out.”
As a result, “We have changed, tactically, how we’re going to carry it out. We have accelerated the campaign and that’s shown up clearly in our tactical reports that are coming in,” Mattis said.
Mattis did not put a timetable on how long he believes it will take to defeat ISIS, saying he believes the group still represents a “long-term” threat.
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