An Iraqi security forces member provides security near a patrol base in Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2017. (U.S. Army/Cpl. Rachel Diehm)

MOSUL, Iraq — It was after dark Wednesday when three buses pulled out of Mosul and headed southeast on a desolate desert road. The passengers were government-backed paramilitary fighters.

The city lights were well behind them when the convoy came under attack. By the time the shooting stopped, six paramilitary members were dead and 31 wounded.

Iraqi authorities quickly identified the culprit: Islamic State.

The attack, one of the deadliest since Iraq declared military victory over the extremist group in December 2017, was the clearest sign yet that the war isn't over.

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When President Trump spoke of Islamic State last week, he described the group as all but defeated, even in the digital realm.

"For a period of time, they used the internet better than we did. They used the internet brilliantly, but now it's not so brilliant," the president said. "And now the people on the internet that used to look up to them and say how wonderful and brilliant they are are not thinking of them as being so brilliant."

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A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter looks as smoke billows after an airstrike hit territory still held by Islamic State militants in the desert outside Baghouz, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Associated Press/Felipe Dana)

AMMAN, Jordan — A U.S.-backed militia has sent trucks to the edge of Islamic State's dwindling territory in eastern Syria to evacuate hundreds of civilians as well as surrendering fighters, many of them foreign-born, commanders said Tuesday.

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Mahmoud Bali/Voice of America

AMMAN, Jordan — Syrian army units on Friday were reported to have entered Manbij, a Kurdish-controlled city that has become a major flashpoint in the country's civil war and an operating base for hundreds of U.S. troops.

The government's entry came at the request of Kurdish militias, who were concerned about the imminent threat of attack by Turkey in the wake of President Donald Trump's abrupt order last week to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria.

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Photo via DoD

In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, the United States set out to destroy al Qaeda. President George W. Bush vowed to “starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.”

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BEIRUT — Russian jets began an intense barrage on Syria’s northwest, pounding rebel-held areas on Tuesday in Idlib province and surrounding regions that have become the last sanctuary for the opposition to President Bashar Assad, activists and a war monitor said.

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