President Donald Trump declared the Islamic State caliphate in the Middle East was almost completely destroyed in a speech on Wednesday.
“It should be formally announced sometime probably next week that we have 100 percent of the caliphate,” Trump said.
He said he wanted to wait for the “official word” on the defeat before making the declaration.
The president spoke at the State Department to the leaders of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
He said the defeat of the Islamic State was a direct result of his direction to the Pentagon to defeat ISIS and remove restrictions on the military commanders on the ground to ensure victory.
Trump said that there would always be “sick” and “demented” individuals who would commit terrorism.
“You’re going to have them no matter how well you do militarily,” he said, referring to “tiny sections” of militants that would continue to exist.
Trump reminded the audience that without territory, the Islamic state would have no more access to natural resources, no more access to schools, or the ability to tax or persecute citizens.
“Their land is gone, it’s a big factor. Their land is gone,” he said.