Point & Kill: British Defense Secretary advocates death for citizens who join IS

Valery Sharifulin  TASS

Valery Sharifulin TASS

Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Rob Manning, who announced the new number, said that troop numbers are now declining in Syria.

U.S. troops are known to be training and providing support to the Arab-Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been battling the Islamic State group in northern and eastern Syria. He ordered that the Pentagon disclose new troop totals in Syria. As part of that effort, the Pentagon announced in August it had about 3,000 more troops in Afghanistan than acknowledged under then-President Barack Obama.

About 2,000 American troops are in Syria fighting the Islamic State, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday, nearly four times the total previously disclosed as the Trump administration changes how troop numbers are publicly counted.

At least 800 people have left the United Kingdom to join ISIS in Iraq or Syria.

Russia's military said on Thursday it had accomplished its mission of defeating Islamic State in Syria, and today there are no remaining settlements in the country under Islamic State control.

"We seek to balance informing the American public with the imperative of operational security and denying the enemy any advantage", he said.

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The U.S. military plans to stay in Syria as long as necessary to ensure the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) does not return, a Pentagon official told AFP on December 5.

At least 800 Britons have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for IS and 130 of those have been killed in conflict.

"Important work remains to ensure lasting defeat" of ISIS, he said.

A Pentagon official said on Tuesday the U.S. military plans on staying in Syria as long as necessary to ensure the Islamic State group does not return. US advisers are primarily focused on operations to remove thousands of improvised explosive devices and other threats left behind by the terrorists so locals can safely return to their homes.

"All ISIS units in Syria have been destroyed, and the territory has been liberated".

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