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ISIS Is Regaining Strength in Iraq and Syria

Eric Schmitt, Alissa J. Rubin and Thomas Gibbons-Neff write for The New York Times:

Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said.

Though President Trump hailed a total defeat of the Islamic State this year, defense officials in the region see things differently, acknowledging that what remains of the terrorist group is here to stay.

A recent inspector general’s report warned that a drawdown this year from 2,000 American forces in Syria to less than half of that, ordered by Mr. Trump, has meant the American military has had to cut back support for Syrian partner forces fighting ISIS. For now, American and international forces can only try to ensure that ISIS remains contained and away from urban areas.

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