Gen. Joseph Votel is the retiring CENTCOM [ Middle East] commander….
Went he spoke before Congress recently he told it like it IS…..
Trump has backed away from completely withdrawing American troops and assist from Syria…..
Gen. Joseph Votel offered lawmakers warnings on Syria — and an upbeat message on Afghanistan.
ISIS’s territory is down to less than a single square mile, but the group is far from defeated, the top commander in the Middle East said in what is expected to be his final appearance before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The militants who remain are “unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized” and will represent a “generational problem,” Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
“We should be clear that what we are seeing now is not the surrender of ISIS as an organization, but a calculated decision to preserve the safety of their families and preservation of their capabilities by taking their chances in camps for internally displaced persons and going to ground and remote areas and waiting for the right time to resurge,” Votel said.
Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters remain scattered across Iraq and Syria, blending in with the local population — ”leaders, fighters and facilitators,” he said.
The general’s grim assessment of the continuing threat posed by the group was a stark contrast to President Trump’s triumphant portrait of the destruction of the caliphate…..