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The Pentagon won’t say if the fight against ISIS in Syria is over (It isn’t)
The Pentagon's chief spokesman is refusing to say whether the last ISIS stronghold in Syria has fallen a day after President Donald Trump announced the caliphate's demise for the fourth time in as many months.
"Wherever ISIS exists, we will continue to pursue them with our partners and allies in the region," Charles Summers told reporters on Thursday at a Pentagon media event.
When asked if the fight to clear ISIS from Syria's Middle Euphrates River Valley has ended, Summers replied, "We continue to fight against ISIS wherever they may be."
Fellow Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson clarified afterward that the U.S. military is not preparing to attack ISIS in parts of Syria controlled by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad or Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces.
"While the Department of Defense has struck targets of opportunity west of the Euphrates in the past, our strategy has not changed,"Crosson said. "We are maintaining our focus in the east and south to eradicate ISIS in the collective self-defense of Iraq and U.S. national self-defense."
U.S. officials confirmed to Task & Purpose that Syrian Democratic Forces are still clearing ISIS from its last strongholds in Baghouz, Syria.
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted on Thursday that the U.S.-backed group had not yet announced that all of ISIS' former territory had been liberated.
Bali reporters on Thursday that the SDF was mopping up the last remnants of resistance in Baghouz, according to Reuters. The U.S. allies intend to declare victory after thy finish checking for ISIS fighters hidden in tunnels and caves as well as clearing mines and booby traps.
Speaking at an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio, Trump predicted on Wednesday that ISIS' former caliphate would be gone "as of tonight."
Trump has made such announcements before: On Dec. 19, 2018, Trump announced, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria" and vowed to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria.
Then, on Feb. 15, the president predicted that the eradication of ISIS' former caliphate, "Will be announced over the next 24 hours."
On Feb. 28, Trump told service members in Alaska that ISIS had lost "100 percent" of its former territory.
In his latest pronouncement of ISIS's defeat, Trump showed his audience two maps showing how much the former caliphate has shrunk. ISIS territory was marked in red.
"Now you look at it and there's no red," Trump said. "No red."
The classification markings on the maps were blacked out. When asked on Thursday if the maps the president showed were classified, Summers said, "I don't have anything for you on that."
UPDATE: This story was updated on March 21 after Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson clarified that the U.S. military is not preparing to attack ISIS in parts of Syria controlled by the regime and its allies.
WATCH NEXT: President Trump Discusses Syria
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"