The term is the Arabic acronym for ISIS, but the State Department and coalition partners in the region use it since it also sounds like the Arabic word for "crush underneath the foot."
"Our partners, at least the ones that I work with, ask us to use that because they feel that if you use ISIL that you legitimize a self-declared caliphate, and actually they feel pretty strongly that we should not be doing that," said Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. ISIL is another acronym used for ISIS.
"Daesh is why we are here. Daesh uses terror and fear to dominate people and reward themselves. It has demonstrated time and time again a disregard for life and humanity. It has also openly stated intentions to apply its trademark barbaric methods not only regionally, but globally as well," he said.
It is not clear whether other Pentagon officials will begin using "Daesh" in future briefings.
Last Friday, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said there has been no change in Defense Department policy to refer to the terrorist group as ISIL.