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.

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Two U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Friday, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said.

The service members' names have not yet been released. Per Defense Department policy, the names of fallen troops are withheld until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.

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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."

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Should your friend and humble Pentagon correspondent live for another 50 years, you can expect to read a Pentagon Run-Down in 2069 about how many U.S. troops President George P. Bush III plans to leave in Syria. (Assuming, of course, that Joe Biden doesn't run in 2068.)

That's because current President Donald Trump had vowed to pull all U.S. troops from Syria back in December, but since then has agreed to leave some U.S. service members there. The White House initially said about 200 U.S. troops would remain in Syria, but government officials have since pegged the number at several hundred.

Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that up to 1,000 U.S. troops could make up the residual force in Syria. The Pentagon pushed back on that story unusually hard, presumably because defense officials are terrified that Trump will think the military is trying to force him to commit more troops to Syria.

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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is being investigated for allegedly showing favoritism to Boeing, where he worked for more than 30 years before joining the Pentagon.

"The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has decided to investigate complaints we recently received that Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules," a DoD IG spokesperson said on Wednesday.

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It is unclear whether the Defense Department's transgender ban will actually take effect on April 12 as planned.

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the Pentagon jumped the gun last week when it announced it will ban people with a medical diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" starting next month. The reason: plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit challenging the transgender ban have until March 29 to request a rehearing.

Until then, an injunction preventing the Pentagon from implementing the transgender ban remains in place, ruled Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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