Trump says U.S.-backed force has retaken all territory once held by Islamic State

February 28, 2019

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (Reuters) – President Donald Trump told American troops on Thursday that U.S.-backed forces in Syria have retaken 100 percent of the territory once held by Islamic State militants, contradicting the commander of the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces, who said it would take another week.

“We just took over, you know, you kept hearing it was 90 percent, 92 percent, the caliphate in Syria. Now it’s 100 percent we just took over, 100 percent caliphate,” Trump told troops at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during a refueling stop in Alaska.

Earlier on Thursday, the commander of Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Kobani, said in a video that the SDF would announce “the complete victory” over Islamic State in a week.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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