Mattis foresees ‘re-energized’ fight against IS in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is forecasting a “re-energized” fight against the Islamic State militants’ remaining strongholds in eastern Syria.

Mattis also says France has sent special forces to reinforce the coalition effort against IS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, where remnants of the militant group are holding out after having lost the vast majority of their territory over the past year.

The Pentagon chief is speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing,

Mattis was asked about conflicting indications from President Donald Trump about whether he intends to pull U.S. forces out of Syria in the near term.

Mattis says the U.S. is not withdrawing — “right now.” He predicts a renewed push against IS “in the days ahead,” not just in Syria but also in Iraq.

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