All throughout his 2016 campaign, Donald Trump talked about destroying ISIS. Now, as president, Trump has struck a decisive first blow against the terrorist organization.
Yesterday, news from Baghdad claimed Ayad al-Jumaili, who is widely considered to be the deputy of ISIS’s top leader, had been killed in an airstrike. Although the death has not been confirmed by U.S. officials, Iraqi State TV reported that the militant was killed by Iraqi bombers, via NDTV.
The Iraqis claim that al-Jumaili was killed in al-Qaim, a region of Iraq close to the Syrian border.
Too often, reports of terrorist leaders meeting their fates end up being untrue. Despite claims that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, had been killed by an airstrike in 2016, it’s common knowledge the chief terrorist is alive.
Abubakar Shekau, the embattled leader of Boko Haram (an ISIS affiliate in Nigeria), expelled rumors of his death by appearing in a recently-released video distributed by the organization, via All Africa.
When it comes to reports of a terrorist leader’s death, always have a grain of salt handy. What isn’t a rumor, is the fact that ISIS is on the defensive in both Syria, and Iraq.
While regional news outlets reported that al-Baghdadi may be close to being “killed or captured” (via Jerusalem Post), Mosul (which ISIS established as their capital in Iraq), is likely to fall to Iraqi forces very soon.
Iraqi security forces, with help from their American, Canadian, British, Australian, and French allies, have already retaken a majority of the embattled city. They are currently encircling the remaining ISIS fighters who remain there, via The Guardian.
ISIS’s desperation to hold Mosul is on full display — they’ve resorted to using human shields in order to slow down the Iraqi offensive, via Time. Meanwhile, in Syria, ISIS is being pinched by the Kurds, Syrian rebels, the Syrian Arab Army, and their Russian allies.
After recapturing the ancient city of Palmyra, forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad initiated an offensive into the Homs Governorate. Utilizing Russian air support, local government forces aim to retake control of strategically relevant oil fields. They’re also threatening to relieve SAA men from their long siege at Deir ez-Zor, via AMN.
To the North, Syrian Democratic Forces — a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters — are inching closer to capturing the ISIS capital city of Raqqa. Last month, President Trump sent the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Army Rangers, and the Special Forces to assist with Raqqa, via Washington Post.
After years of idiotic Obama-era bumbling about the Middle East, President Trump is consistently pushing for a more action-oriented and realistic approach to defeating ISIS.
Rather than supplying weapons and arms to openly jihadist militants, President Trump is providing direct aid to pro-Western Kurds, and has signaled a willingness to cooperate with President al-Assad.
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