President Donald Trump speaks at the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS meeting at the State Department on Wednesday in Washington. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that the Islamic State militant group will have lost by next week all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria. He said the U.S. will not relent in fighting remnants of the extremist organization despite his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria over the objections of some of his most senior national security advisers. The president told representatives of a 79-member, U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State that the militants held a tiny percentage of the vast territory they once claimed as their “caliphate.” “It should be formally announced sometime, probably next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate,” Trump said. U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that the Islamic State has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding on to fewer than 2 square miles in Syria in the villages of the Middle Euphrates River Valley, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated. But there are fears the impending U.S. pullout will imperil those gains. Trump told coalition members meeting at the… Read full this story
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