Mattis: Military solution to NKorea would be ‘tragic’
US Defence Secretary James Mattis said today he was yet to make any recommendations to President Donald Trump on the number of troops in Afghanistan, but hoped an ongoing review about it would be completed soon.
IS forces have been surrounded both in the western parts of Mosul and in Raqqa, and “there is no escape” for them, Mattis said.
“He directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS (Daesh) out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS”.
Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also briefing reporters, said “our partnered approach has brought significant progress”, reducing the flow of foreign ISIS fighters into region and undermining “the credibility of the narrative that there is a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria”. Russian forces entered Syria in 2015 to help shore up the Syrian regime against opposition forces, a year after the USA began its anti-ISIS campaign there.
A US military statement said Thursday’s strike occurred after Russian Federation tried unsuccessfully to dissuade pro-Assad forces from advancing toward Tanf.
First, James Mattis said, Trump has authorized him to delegate more decision-making authority down to US commanders who are on the ground with Iraqi and Syrian partners fighting ISIS, to speed up the program. Government services and normalcy must be restored, he said, “otherwise you simply breed the next problem”.
Mattis emphasized that there has been no change to the rules of engagement concerning the use of force or in avoiding civilian casualties.
“Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean peninsula is to put a definite end to the USA hostile policy toward DPRK, the root cause of all problems”. And swarms of foreign fighters sought to reach Raqqa, Syria, the terror group’s self-styled capital.
McGurk, who was appointed during the Obama administration, acknowledged the situation is more hard in Syria. “I’m working very closely with more than 60 of my counterparts to expand the coalition that we have in dealing with ISIS, and our priority clearly is to prevent attacks against the homeland”, he said.
The looming Raqqa offensive has yet to begin.
Also speaking at the Pentagon on Friday, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, said strikes against Syrian government-backed fighters this week were a “force protection measure”, and would not happen again if USA forces are not threatened.
Trump this month signed off on arming the YPG, or People’s Protection Units.
Russian Federation on Friday denounced the USA airstrike.
When asked whether the American public should expect a long-term presence of American troops in Syria, Mattis demurred.
“Just as an aside, in addition to the competence that they’ve demonstrated Mosul, and the sacrifice, the one thing I’ve seen over time, in the 15 months I’ve been back and forth visiting in Iraq, in this particular assignment, is the confidence of the Iraqi leadership”, Dunford said.
“Our objective is to drive down ISIS’s capability to a point where local forces, with tailored support from the global community, are able to provide security”. And, as Mr. McGurk pointed out, there’s got to be a political solution to the larger issues there. The fight has since grown to include thousands of US troops on the ground in the two countries as advisers.
The defense secretary said, “This threat is a long-term threat. This is a transnational, long-term threat”.