President Trump made some big promises while running for office, one being to eliminate the threat of ISIL. Two months into his administration, some advances have been made but geopolitical issues have held back progress.
CGTN’s Nathan King reports.
Trump administration struggles to deliver on promise to eliminate ISILPresident Trump made some big promises while running for office, one being to eliminate the threat of ISIL. Two months into his administration, some advances have been made but geopolitical issues have held back progress. CGTN's Nathan King reports from Washington, D.C.
On the election campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump’s policy was simple: bomb ISIL into submission. As President Trump, however, it’s been more complicated.
The battle to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul is progressing, but it’s entering its fifth month. This despite growing U.S. support, and with troops and material in the fight against ISIL.
“They’re hiding among the civilian population all over Iraq and Syria and we’re focused on chasing them out in a sort of sequential campaign,” Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve said.
The U.S. has said that ISIL has up to 15,000 fighters spread across the deserts of Iraq and Syria. Even so, a promised plan to defeat ISIL within 30 days of the new administration has yet to materialize.
However, the battle against ISIL is bearing fruit. The group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly fled Mosul. Many of his inner circle have been killed. The flow of sympathetic foreign fighters who once flooded into Syria to wage Jihad has also slowed as ISIL has suffered defeats on the battlefield.
The U.S. has stepped up military action and aid to those fighting ISIL. This includes more attacks from the air and logistical support. Armored vehicles have also been supplied to the Syrians battling the extremists.
The U.S. had hoped improved relations with Russia could bring in Moscow to the global coalition; however, investigations into Russian interference with the U.S. presidential election have hampered any rapprochement.
Moscow was not been invited to a coalition gathering in Washington, and relations between Washington and Tehran have turned colder since President Trump’s election.