Mike Pence says U.S. will be "prepared to strike back at ISIS" after troop withdrawal

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By: Anna Gunther | CBS News
February 6, 2019

In December, President Trump announced the military would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, claiming ISIS has been defeated. But a recent report found that without "sustained pressure" on ISIS, the terror group could re-emerge in Syria within six to 12 months.

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. would "stay in the region."

"We're going to be prepared to strike back at ISIS. We're gonna engage our coalition partners to work with us to deal with the remnants of ISIS that are in the region. But I think every American can be proud of the progress that we have made in defeating the ISIS caliphate in the region. And they can be confident that the United States and our coalition partners will continue to lean into the fight against any resurgence of ISIS in the future," Pence said.

Pence has also said ISIS was defeated, but he told Glor that it would be "a matter of weeks" before all of the group's territory was reclaimed.

"The territory that's been reclaimed is 99 percent of what ISIS has claimed and frankly -- and we're informed that in a matter of weeks that all of the territory that ISIS has claimed," Pence said. "The simple fact is that more than a year ago, the capital of Raqqa of their so-called caliphate was captured by U.S. and coalition forces. I couldn't be more proud of what our American forces have been able to do, along with our coalition partners, against ISIS."

During the State of the Union, Mr. Trump addressed his decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, saying "great nations do not fight endless wars."

His administration is also negotiating peace talks with the Taliban. But some Republicans are concerned the Afghan government is not playing a bigger role in the negotiations.



 
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