Pentagon draft report warns ISIS could regain territory in months without military pressure: report

Pentagon draft report warns ISIS could regain territory in months without military pressure: report
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A forthcoming Pentagon assessment is expected to warn that ISIS could regain lost territory in Syria within months without continued U.S. pressure, according to multiple reports.

NBC News reported Thursday that a draft of the Defense Department Inspector General's Quarterly Report about Operation Inherent Resolve warns that ISIS could regain territory within six to 12 months.

One U.S. official told CNN that some military and intelligence officials have concerns that ISIS could regain territory even sooner.

The Pentagon report is expected to be released next week. The Defense Department Inspector General's office told The Hill it does not comment on drafts.

The reported warning comes as the Pentagon continues to follow President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE's December order to withdraw from Syria.


Trump claimed at the time that ISIS was defeated in the country, saying it meant there was no reason to stay.

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," he tweeted Dec. 19.

However, multiple officials have contradicted the characterization of the situation in Syria and a U.S. intelligence report released Tuesday warned that lifting pressure on Syria could be dangerous.

“The group will exploit any reduction in [counterterrorism] pressure to strengthen its clandestine presence and accelerate rebuilding key capabilities, such as media production and external operations,” the report stated.

Trump rejected findings from Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray Coats11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Hillicon Valley: Deepfakes pose 2020 test for media | States beg Congress for more election security funds | Experts worry campaigns falling short on cybersecurity | Trump officials urge reauthorization of NSA surveillance program MORE and CIA Director Gina Haspel in a string of tweets on Wednesday, writing “perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!"

On Thursday, the Senate also offered a bipartisan rebuke of the president's Syria policy, marking the first time in the new Congress that the GOP caucus has formally broken with Trump.

Senators voted 68-23 to end debate on an amendment that warned Trump against drawing down troops in Syria and Afghanistan. Senators still need to hold a second vote to include the amendment on a foreign policy bill.