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ISIS has not been defeated yet, despite what the White House says
The ISIS caliphate is still not dead.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Friday that the Pentagon "made the call" that ISIS had lost all of its former territory in Syria, according to a White House press pool report.
"When we asked if the caliphate was 100 percent eliminated, Sanders repeatedly said, 'Yes,'" the pool report says.
Sanders referred further questions to the Pentagon, which went radio silent when reporters started asking if Syrian Democratic Forces had cleared the last ISIS holdouts in Syria.
A spokesman for Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan confirmed that Shanahan was on Air Force One with President Donald Trump on Friday, but he declined to say whether Shanahan told the president ISIS physical caliphate had finally been wiped out.
Other military officials referred questions to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has yet to declare that the battle to crush ISIS' last enclave around Baghouz, Syria, has been won.
After Sanders declared ISIS' caliphate liberated, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted on Friday that the battle is still going on: "eavy fighting continues around mount #Baghouz right now to finish off whatever remains of ISIS."
CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman tweeted on Friday that he could see machine gun fire and coalition air strikes in the eastern end of Baghouz.
"I guess not everyone heard the White House statement re 100 percent elimination of #ISIS territory," Wedeman tweeted.
Sanders' comments marked the second time within 48 hours that the Pentagon has been put in the awkward position on not contradicting the White House.
Trump claimed on Wednesday that ISIS' caliphate would be eliminated that evening. The following day, Chief Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers refused to confirm Baghouz had still not been taken.
Even after ISIS is expelled from its last stronghold, it will continue fighting by waging an insurgency, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, told Congress on March 7.
"We will see low level attacks," Votel said. "We'll see assassinations. We'll see IED attacks. We'll see ambush-type things as they begin to emerge from this. Therefore, what our focus has to be is working with our partners on the ground as we're doing fairly effectively in Iraq right now. We are going to have to keep pressure on this."
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Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- The U.S. Air Force will call its new trainer the T-7A "Red Hawk."
Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan announced the name of the jet, known previously as the T-X, on Monday, alongside retired Col. Charles McGee, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
"The name, Red Hawk, honors the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, and pays homage to their signature red-tailed aircraft from World War II," Donovan said here during the annual Air, Space and Cyber conference.
The Special Forces community is honoring the life of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, whom his commander described as a superlative soldier and beloved teammate.
"He was a warrior - an accomplished, respected and loved Special Forces soldier that will never be forgotten," Col. Owen G. Ray, commander of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a news release. "We ask that you keep his family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers."
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran held talks with a delegation from Afghanistan's Taliban, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a week after peace talks between the United States and the Islamist insurgents collapsed.
Iran said in December it had been meeting with Taliban representatives with the knowledge of the Afghan government, after reports of U.S.-Taliban talks about a ceasefire and a possible withdrawal of foreign troops.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"