Trump uses visual aids to show ISIS territory ‘will be gone by tonight’

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President Trump on Wednesday used visual aids to argue that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) would lose its remaining territory in Syria “by tonight.”

The president used maps to show reporters what he called the success of his administration’s fight against ISIS. He carried the visual aids as he departed the White House for a trip to Ohio.

{mosads}One map highlighted in red the parts of Syria that Trump said were held by the terrorist group on Election Day 2016. A second map showed present-day Syria, with one small red spot.

“When I took it over it was a mess,” he told reporters. “Now, on the bottom, there is no red. In fact, there’s actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight.”

“This just came out 20 minutes ago,” he added. “So this is ISIS on Election Day, my election day, and this is ISIS now. So that’s the way it goes.”

Trump in recent weeks has described the complete loss of ISIS territory in varying terms. In early February, he told representatives of the international coalition fighting the terrorist group that the U.S. would announce “sometime probably next week” that “100 percent of the caliphate” had fallen.

The Trump administration has offered shifting messages on its Syria plans, dating back to the president’s December announcement that “we have won against ISIS” and “it’s time for our troops to come back home.”

Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. will leave 200 troops in Syria and “200 people in another place in Syria closer to Israel for a period of time.”

Top administration officials have acknowledged that the territorial defeat of ISIS will not mean the group is no longer a threat.

“We know right now that there are ISIS fighters scattered still around Syria and Iraq, and that ISIS itself is growing in other parts of the world,” national security adviser John Bolton said earlier this month. “The ISIS threat will remain.”

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