The bottom line, the officials said, is the global coalition dedicated to defeating ISIS will now dedicate more attention to combating the image of the terror group than in actual combat against ISIS members. They said ISIS’ global brand is fading with the defeat of the physical caliphate and as stories about the horror of life under ISIS are disseminated.
Inside Iraq, there are still problems from the remnants of ISIS in areas where the terror group operated before Iraqi security forces defeated them, White and McKenzie said. There have been terrorist attacks against civilian targets inside Iraq, but the U.S. assessment is that local forces can handle the challenge, they said.
“It could be local police, the Iraqi army, it could be [Counter Terrorism Service], I don’t know the specifics of the case,” McKenzie said. “In all cases, we want to proceed to the point where it is local police, indigenous police that are actually able to handle it. I wouldn’t say we are there in all cases yet, but it certainly is not U.S. forces doing this. We are providing the enablers and other support to allow the Iraqis to go after these problems.”
(Source: US Dept of Defense)