LONDON: Daesh's capabilities have been destroyed and it is no longer able to detain civilians, Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Michael Shanahan said Friday at the Munich Security Conference.
Shanahan also said that the global coalition to defeat Daesh has “eliminated the group's hold over 99 percent of the territory it once claimed as part of its so-called caliphate." "We have ensured ISIS no longer holds the innocent people of Syria or Iraq in its murderous iron fist."
Daesh has been defeated but has not disappeared and may take on a new form, the Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Michael Shanahan added.
Shanahan said he envisioned a "bigger and stronger" coalition to fight Daesh globally. "We will continue to support our local partners' ability to stand up to the remnants of ISIS."
US President Donald Trump's announcement in December that he was withdrawing all 2,000 US troops from Syria surprised and rattled allies. US officials have crisscrossed the Middle East in recent weeks to reassure them that Washington remains committed to the region.