The Daesh* caliphate" is defeated but some militants are sheltering in camps for internally displaced persons and remote areas, US Army Lt. Gen. Paul LaCamera, Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve commanding general, said on Saturday.
“The end of the so-called physical caliphate is a historic military accomplishment that brought together the largest Coalition in history, but the fight against Daesh and violent extremism is far from over … Make no mistake, Daesh is preserving their force. They have made calculated decisions to preserve what is left of their dwindling personnel and capabilities by taking their chances in camps for internally displaced persons and going to ground in remote areas. They are waiting for the right time to reemerge,” LaCamera said in a statement.
Shortly before, US President Donald Trump once again declared that 100 per cent of Syria and Iraq have been liberated from the Daesh terrorist group. However, he said that Washington would remain vigilant against the terrorist group and fight it until it is finally defeated "whenever it operates".
"The United States will defend American interests whenever and wherever necessary. We will continue to work with our partners and allies to totally crush radical Islamic terrorists."
Prior to that, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared a final military victory over Daesh terrorists, urging the Syrian government to recognise the administration set up in areas controlled by them.
On 22 March the same information has been declared by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who said that the entire territory of Syria has been "100 per cent eliminated" from the terrorists, noting that the US president was briefed on the issue by US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan while the American leader was on his way to Florida on Air Force One.
As the SDF press-service reported, since the beginning of February about 15,000 people have fled Baghouz and its suburbs with only terrorists remaining in the area.
However, the strikes of the US-led coalition, which has been maintaining air support for the Kurdish forces, caused multiple civilian casualties, as Syrian media repeatedly reported over the course of their offensive.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia