ISIS ‘Caliphate’ Defeat is Near, Top Pentagon Officials Say


The defeat of the “caliphate” that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed in Syria is near, top Defense Department officials said at the Pentagon today.

“A lot of great work's been done in Syria,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the director of Joint Staff, said.

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 2, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott)
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 2, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 2, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott)
Air Superiority
Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 2, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott

Speaking at a news conference alongside chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White, McKenzie noted significant progress, adding that the defeat-ISIS efforts are “very close to reaching an end state against the caliphate.”

“We have always said that our mission in Syria is the defeat of ISIS,” White said. “That is nearly here, but it's not done.”

She reiterated the commitment to defeat the terrorists. 

“We continue to be focused on the defeat of ISIS,” she said. “ISIS remains a transregional threat, and the 71-nation coalition that's fighting ISIS is committed to ensuring that we combat violent extremism wherever it is.”

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)