U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday used a series of charts and graphs to tout his administration's success on foreign and domestic policy.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump exited the White House proudly displaying maps showing the decrease of ISIS strongholds in Syria to reporters. While visiting an Ohio tank manufacturing plant, the President showed plant employees the same maps of the decrease in ISIS and a series of charts touting economic and employments highlights during his administration.
"So, two maps identical, except the one on top was Syria that the one on top was Syria in November of 16. You remember that date? November 16.. November 8th... we had a little victory that night," Trump said in a bizarre ramble. Trump added that 400 U.S. troops will remain in Syria after ISIS is cleared from its final enclave.
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Trump continued, "So what happens is this is all ISIS, now on the bottom that's as of today, this is ISIS there's none. The caliphate is gone. As of tonight. Pretty good. That's pretty good right? We took over a mess we took over a mess with North Korea. We took over a mess in the Middle East."
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters said they were still searching territory captured from Islamic State at its final enclave in eastern Syria on Thursday and denied a report the jihadists had been finally defeated.
The final capture of the Baghouz enclave at the Iraqi border will mark the end of Islamic State territorial rule that once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq after years of military campaigns by a range of international and local forces.
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After weeks of fighting, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took a big step towards capturing the besieged area on Tuesday when they seized an encampment where the jihadists had been mounting a last defence of the area.
"Combing continues in the Baghouz camp," an SDF media official said, citing commanders of the operation on Thursday, after the Syrian Kurdish news outlet Hawar reported that the entire enclave had been captured and IS defeated.
"There is no truth (to the report of) the complete liberation of the village," the official said.
The report on Hawar News, which is close to the Kurdish-led administration that runs much of northern Syria, was later removed from its website.