US General Sends Warning: ISIS 'Waiting for the Right Time To Resurge'

The outgoing head of U.S. Central Command warned Congress on Thursday that the fight against the Islamic State is ongoing, despite the terrorist group’s stream of defeats on the battlefield.

“Reduction of the physical caliphate is a monumental military accomplishment but the fight against ISIS and violent extremism is far from over,” Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee.

The general noted that the organization’s territory has shrunk from 34,000 square miles at the height of its power to an area of less than a square mile in the town of Baghouz, located near Syria’s border with Iraq.

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“What we are seeing now is not the surrender of ISIS as an organization but a calculated decision to preserve the safety of their families and preservation of their capabilities by taking their chances in camps for internally displaced persons and going to ground in remote areas and waiting for the right time to resurge,” Votel said.

“The ISIS population being evacuated from the remaining vestiges of the caliphate largely remains unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized,” he added, based on observations from U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.

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The four-star general urged continued vigilance against the Islamic State terror group, even as its leaders and fighters have been dispersed throughout the region.

The Pentagon estimates there are between 10,000 and 20,000 Islamic State fighters left in Iraq and Syria, who have gone to ground and are preparing to fight an extended insurgency, the Washington Examiner reported.

Votel highlighted how the allies handle the Islamic State fighters and their families now in captivity could have long-range implications.

“The broader international community will need to determine how we deal with the thousands of fighters and family members now being held and safeguarded by the (Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces),” he said.

“In my view, this is a serious generational problem that if not handled properly will sow the seeds of future violent extremism.”

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Votel said that President Donald Trump has reversed course and decided he will keep a small U.S. force in Syria with the focus on training local forces to counter what the general described as the “ISIS clandestine insurgency.”

The Associated Press reported that thousands of people came out of the village of Baghouz on Monday.

U.S.-backed forces slowed their push on the Islamic State terror group’s stronghold last week to allow civilians to leave.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said a large number of Islamic State fighters were among those who left and “surrendered to our forces.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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