Tag: ISIS

White House: ISIS Territory in Syria 100% Eliminated

The White House announced today that ISIS territory in Syria has been “100 percent” eliminated.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the announcement to reporters on board Air Force One and directed them to the Department of Defense for further information.

Yesterday, Fox News reported that ISIS had “officially crumbled,” and its last stronghold, Baghouz, Syria had been liberated.

“It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone,” wrote Fox News foreign affairs correspondent Benjamin Hall.

Hall wrote that he witnessed the last major offensive up close– “with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.”

“In the end, the majority surrendered,” continued Hall. “In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.”

On Wednesday, President Trump said ISIS would be “gone by tonight,” as he showed reporters maps of the region in 2016 with red spots indicating ISIS strongholds.

“When I took it over, it was a mess,” he said.

Report: ISIS “Officially Crumbled” as Terror Group’s Last Stronghold Liberated

While an official announcement has yet to be made, Fox News is reporting that ISIS has “officially crumbled,” and its last stronghold, Baghouz, Syria has been liberated.

“It’s the first time since we’ve been here in Syria for five days that the bombs have stopped dropping and the gunfire has disappeared. We have witnessed the end of the caliphate – the brutal empire that once ruled over 8 million people – is gone,” writes Fox News foreign affairs correspondent Benjamin Hall.

Troops in Baghouz are now taking down ISIS flags.

Hall writes that he witnessed the last major offensive up close– “with U.S.-backed SDF forces attacking ISIS from three sides, pushing the fighters back, house to house, then tent to tent, against the Euphrates River.”

“In the end, the majority surrendered,” continues Hall. “In fact, since the start of the year about 60,000 have dripped into the desert, and most are now held in camps.

Yesterday, President Trump said ISIS would be “gone by tonight,” as he showed reporters maps of the region in 2016 with red spots indicating ISIS strongholds.

“When I took it over, it was a mess,” he said.

“Now, he added as he pointed to the bottom map that he said depicted ISIS presence in Syria today, ‘there is no red. In fact, there’s actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight,” writes Politico.

For the full report, click HERE.

Does Trump Deserve Credit for Defeating ISIS?

At their peak, the so-called Islamic State did resemble a State, albeit a fascist one. The terror group controlled over 40,000 square kilometers in territory, which was self-sustained through taxes on locals, smuggling, looting, seized oil fields, ransoms, and extortion, backed by an army of over 40,000 foreign fighters alone (and many more local fighters). Or as Barack Obama called them, “al-Qaeda’s JV team.”

Obama severely underestimated ISIS’ strength during their rise, and thus the U.S. was late to the game in combating the terror group, which has now been territorially defeated. Trump said yesterday (Wednesday) that ISIS would be defeated by the end of the day,  which came a day after Syrian forces said ISIS last territory (less than three square kilometers) in Baghouz is under full control (with militants cornered). Only the most comitted zealots remain.

Trump posted before and after images of ISIS territory on inauguration day vs. now on his Twitter, appearing to take credit for the demolition of ISIS. It must be emphasized that this claim is only accurate when phrased as a territorial defeat of ISIS, though the destruction of the “Caliphate” aspect of the group will severely damage their credibility (to prospective Islamists).

Whether it be the economy, stock market, or the defeat of ISIS, Trump’s critics will inevitably chalk this up to a mere continuation of a trend started by Barack Obama (and many have).

While the ISIS Caliphate did decline from their peak under Obama, that decline noticeably accelerated once Trump took office. In fact, Trump did more in one year than Obama did in three. Eleven months into his presidency, 90% of ISIS territory held on inauguration day had been reclaimed.

ISIS lost control of their capital in Iraq (the city of Mosul) in July 2017, and then their Syrian capital (Raqqa) three months later.

The Decimation of ISIS Under Trump and Obama
September 2014- January 20, 2017 January 21, 2017 – December 21, 2017
Number of U.S. Killed 8 5
Number of People Liberated from ISIS 2.4 million 5.3 million
Estimated Number of ISIS Fighters 35,000 1,000
Square Miles Held by ISIS 17,500 1,930
Square Miles Liberated from ISIS 13,200 15,570

So what did Trump do differently? As the Heritage Foundation’s Robin Simcox explained:

Days after being inaugurated, President Trump signed an Executive Order requesting a Pentagon-led review be provided to him within thirty days on how ISIS could be defeated. Calling this a “secret plan” would be generous, but tactical tweaks did quickly began to appear.

[Former] Secretary of Defense James Mattis outlined that President Trump “delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.” This meant that when those on the ground requested airstrikes, fewer layers of sign-off were required; the approval process was decentralized and, subsequently, faster.

Mattis has also said that another change was a “shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS.” The purpose behind this, Mattis outlined, was to dry up the flow of foreign fighters leaving the region.

Undeniably, the foreign-fighter flow was stunted.

Another shift came in the role of U.S. troops in combat operations. During the fight for Mosul, hundreds of U.S. Special Forces operators were given latitude to work much closer with their Iraqi partners. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the head of U.S. military efforts in Syria and Iraq confirmed that “We are operating closer and deeper into Iraqi formations.”

That’s quite a divergence from the careful approach that Obama took, blocking over 75% of requested anti-ISIS airstrikes.

A study from the Media Research Center found that from Inauguration day to the end of 2018, the three major news networks spent over 10,000 minutes talking about the Trump presidency, only 33 minutes of which were related to ISIS. As the National Review’s Deroy Murdock put it; “There you have it: President Trump has helped shrink ISIS by 99 percent, while his nightly-news tormentors have spent 99.7 percent of their time looking elsewhere.” Go figure.

While the eventual defeat of ISIS was inevitable (as their strategy of provoking the entire planet into war in an attempt to bring about the apocalypse probably wasn’t the best idea), there is no question that Trump massively accelerated the demise of the so-called Caliphate, and for that he deserves credit.

As Shutdown Drags – Here’s a Wall Democrats Funded… in 2018

Our current government shutdown over Democrats refusal to approve funding for Donald Trump’s proposed border wall highlights just how partisan politics has truly become.

Amusingly, the fact-less fact-checkers over at PolitFact are pretending otherwise. In response to Trump’s January 8th prime time address on the border wall where he claimed that “Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats,” Politifact’s Manuela Tobias calls the claim a “mischaracterization” that was rated as “mostly false.” Why? Because Democrats voted for 700 miles of fencing with the 2006 Secure Fence Act, while Trump wants concrete.

That’s seriously Politifact’s basis for claiming that Democrats haven’t done a 180 on the issue of border security. Perhaps some quotes where the same Democrats opposing Trump today echoed his rhetoric will help explain just why they supported such a fence:

  • “The American people are a welcoming and generous people. But those who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. And because we live in an age where terrorists are challenging our borders, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of the immigration laws.” – Senator Barack Obama, April 2006.
  • Mexico is such an important problem. The Mexican government’s policies are pushing migration north. There isn’t any sensible approach except to do what we need to do simultaneously; secure our border — with technology, personnel, physical barriers if necessary in some places. We need to have tough employer sanctions, incentivize Mexico to do more.” – Senator Hillary Clinton, 2006.
  • “[t]he American people need to know that, because of our efforts in Congress, our border is far more secure today than it was when we began debating comprehensive immigration reform in 2005. This progress includes … construction of 630 miles of border fence that create a significant barrier to illegal immigration on our southern land border.” – Chuck Schumer, 2009. Schumer’s website also boasted a 27% decline in illegal border crossings in 2009, “suggesting major progress in sealing off the border.”

So if they were to support a fence to curtail illegal immigration, why not a wall, which would be an order of magnitude more effective? One word: Trump.

Democrat Support for a Border Wall Tanked Immediately After Trump Became the GOP Nominee

The smoking gun proving that the renewed border debate is all political comes from the fact that Democrat support for the wall didn’t tank until after Trump became the Republican nominee (with the border wall central to his platform). As pollster Emily Ekins noted:

In early 2006 a Time/SRBI poll found that a slim majority (52 percent) of Democrats also favored “building a security fence along the 2,000-mile US-Mexican border.” Sixty-one percent (61 percent) of Republicans also agreed. Between 2005 and 2015, polls show that nearly half of Democrats continued to support building a border barrier of some kind.

For reference, Trump became the GOP nominee in July 2016, and you can see what happened immediately next:

Democrats Voted to Fund a Wall…. in 2018

Voting for walls is A-OK for Democrats in the Trump-era, but apparently only if they’re overseas. In 2016 VICE Magazine ran a piece on the “Great Wall of Jordan,” which detailed America’s strategy to keep ISIS out of their country. “The Obama administration is spending close to a half a billion dollars to build a sophisticated electronic fence along Jordan’s northern and eastern borders, a wall which US strategic planners hope will stem the flow of refugees and also wall off the increasingly important American base from the disintegration of Syria and Iraq,” they reported at the time.

The article further describes that “When completed later this decade, the border wall will have a camera-studded high-security fence, plus a network of ground sensors and a set of fixed and mobile surveillance towers that will be able to see and detect activity five miles away on either side of the fence.” Not bad – and in March of last year Congress (including all Democrats) voted for an Omnibus bill that continued funding Jordan’s border.

As Neil Munro noted, the omnibus budget says on page 394:

SEC. 9011. Up to $500,000,000 of funds appropriated by this Act for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in ‘‘Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide’’ may be used to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.

On page 375, the omnibus says:

For the ‘‘Counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Train and Equip Fund’’, $1,769,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2019 …

That these funds may be used in such amounts as the Secretary of Defense may determine to enhance the border security of nations adjacent to conflict areas including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia resulting from actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Granted, Jordan’s border was built for counterterrorism purposes, but I don’t remember hearing any Democrats arguing their border is “immoral.” Nor do I remember hearing that “walls don’t work.”

After that omnibus bill was initially proposed, Rep. Jim Jordan went on Fox News to blast the spending bill because the border wall is “the one thing” it refuses to fund. “The one thing we don’t fund is the one issue we all campaigned on, a border security wall, and that is not in the legislation,” He was half-right – Congress only couldn’t be bothered to fund a wall for America.

The fact of the matter is that Democrats know that borders do work. After all, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have much reason to fear Trump’s wall.

November 1, 2017: Ep. 581 It’s Time to Get Real on Immigration

In this episode –

Why are we continuing with a suicidal immigration policy?

Here’s one thing we most do to fight back against this growing terror threat.

Another terror attack on American soil. Thank the Lord for America’s brave police officers.

Another troubling component of the Russian special counsel investigation.

How keeping the property tax deduction will backfire on the middle-class.