January 17, 2019

How Trump's Withdrawal Threatens The Secretive Hunt For ISIS Members In Syria

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Journalists Mitch Prothero, Mike Giglio, Munzer al-Awad

President Trump’s order to withdraw US troops from Syria threatens to cripple US-led efforts to kill and capture ISIS members who continue to launch insurgent-style attacks across its former territory.

The secretive efforts, which involve US troops working with Kurdish and Arab allies, target ISIS members who are hiding among the population in Syria and could resurface to help the group mount a comeback.

Local forces say these efforts have resulted in the deaths and arrests of hundreds of ISIS members — and that many more remain.

The continued threat was underscored Wednesday by a bombing that killed four Americans in Manbij, a Syrian town that was freed from ISIS control more than two years ago. The dead included two US service members, a civilian Defense Department employee, and a Defense Department contractor.

The US has not blamed the attack on ISIS, but the terror organization claimed it was responsible, saying the blast had been a suicide attack. The local militia that partners with the US in Syria said the attack showed the extent to which ISIS remains active.

Read the full article and more on Buzzfeed News.

Authors

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focuses on the analysis of complex confli...