Defeat of final Islamic State bastion in Syria imminent, Trump says

President Donald Trump shows a map of Syria and Iraq showing the presence of the Islamic State in 2017 and 2019 as he speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington Wednesday

According to the Daily Star, he held two maps, one displaying how the ISIS hold in Iraq and Syria was on the day of his election and the present day.

Concise News reports that Trump, who spoke at the White House, announced that the last of the Islamic State's territory in Syria is now being liberated by US-backed forces and that the situation would be resolved "by tonight".

Mr Trump said the most recent map shows only a small area of Syria still be seized from ISIS control - and it will be taken back in the coming hours.

"When I took it over, it was a mess".

"The caliphate is gone as of tonight", Trump said in a speech at a factory in Lima, Ohio, where military tanks are assembled. This is ISIS on my Election Day, and this is ISIS now.

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Heavy smoke rises above the Islamic State (IS) group's last remaining position in the village of Baghouz during battles with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 18, 2019.

Trump announced in December that he meant to remove all 2,000 troops from Syria, declaring that ISIS was mostly defeated, but he was criticized by some within his party for being too hasty.

With pressure from Republicans, Trump has shifted to agree to keep 400 troops in the country indefinitely. But even after Baghouz's fall, IS maintains a scattered presence and sleeper cells that threaten a continuing insurgency.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali posted on Twitter: "This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight".

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