Testifying before the Senate Committee on Armed Services Tuesday, U.S. Central Commander General Joseph Votel told Senators that the fight against ISIS was not over.
In his opening statement the General explained that while the military pressure against ISIS in Syria has been successful by liberating more than 34,000 square miles of territory once claimed by ISIS fighters, it’s important to “understand that even though this territory has been reclaimed, the fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed.”
During questioning the General is asked if he was made aware of President Trump’s public announcement that he intended to withdrawal U.S. troops from Syria. Votel responds, “I was not aware of the specific announcement. Certainly we are aware that he expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart,” Syria. Pressed further Volt replies, “we were not, I was not consulted.”
As the News Blender reported in December President Trump announced U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria by tweeting, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria.”
The announcement of the withdrawal seemed to blindside former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who shortly after the announcement resigned from his post.
As the News Blender reported Votel is not alone in his assessment of ISIS’s, as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats explained during his most recent Senate testimony and in a detailed threat assessment report, “the Islamic State would continue “to stoke violence” in Syria,” that there were “thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria and a dozen Islamic State networks around the world.”
Central Commander General Joseph Votel’s full testimony.