March 23, 2019
WASHINGTON--Statement from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. on liberation of territory once held by ISIS:
"I echo Secretary of Defense Shanahan's recognition of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Iraqi Security Forces, members of the Coalition, and our own Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines for their hard-fought accomplishment of liberating ISIS-held territory in Syria and Iraq. We honor their courage, teamwork and sacrifice in a very tough fight. Going forward, the U.S. military remains committed to working closely with our Coalition and regional partners to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS."
Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
March 23, 2019
Statement from the Acting Secretary of Defense on Territory once held by ISIS
Attributed to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan:
We are inspired by the battlefield success of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Today’s SDF announcement that the liberation of the territory once held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria is 100 percent complete confirms that more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria have been cleared of ISIS since January 2017 and the terror group no longer controls populated areas.
Now is an appropriate time to recognize the SDF who led the fight against ISIS in Syria, the Iraqi Security Forces who led the fight in Iraq, and the Coalition and U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have fought bravely in support of our partners over the last few years.
While this is a critical milestone in the fight against ISIS, we understand our work is far from complete. As the D-ISIS campaign in northeast Syria transitions from liberating territory to enabling local security and preventing resurgent ISIS networks, we will continue to work by, with, and through our partners and allies to enable stabilization efforts.
We will continue our work with the Global Coalition to deny ISIS safe haven anywhere in the world. We remain committed to ISIS's enduring defeat and we are confident that we will prevail.
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