WASHINGTON — ISIS’ territorial caliphate in Syria has been eliminated, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Sanders said Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed President Donald Trump on the development.
Trump touted the news on the tarmac in Palm Beach, Fla., giving members of the press a copy of a map depicting areas cleared of the terror network’s control.
“You guys can have the map,” Trump said. “Congratulations.”
The announcement comes two days after Trump claimed elimination of the remaining territory was imminent.
“ISIS, they’re not doing so well,” Trump said during remarks at an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio, on Wednesday. “You know, we took over the caliphate. You’ll see it tonight.”
On Thursday, the Pentagon declined to say whether ISIS had been defeated in eastern Syria, the site of the remaining stronghold.
“The amount of territory they’ve held is smaller and smaller and smaller,” acting Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers told reporters. “That’s all I have for you.”
The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), the land element of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, captured an encampment where the ISIS fighters had been dug in as what seemed to be a final defensive position on Tuesday.