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Despite assertions by top administration officials, Trump claims ISIS defeated

CNN's Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 12:11 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2018 12:40 PM

The US withdrawal of ground forces from Syria most likely means an end to airstrikes, a US defense official told CNN.

US airstrikes in Syria would likely have to stop due to a lack of US spotters on the ground to collect intelligence and call in airstrikes, the official said.

The official also added that it's possible that drones could still conduct intelligence and reconnaissance missions, just as they do in Yemen and Somalia. Those missions could include strikes, the official said.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich told CNN that "as long as there are US troops on the ground we will conduct air and artillery strikes in support of our forces. We will not speculate on future operations."

In a move that drew criticism, President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of US military from Syria, declaring that the US has defeated ISIS.

The US will continue to maintain troops in Iraq, with the capability of launching long range artillery strikes into Syria.

In the days before Trump's announcement, the US-led coalition in Syria conduced 208 strikes in Syria against ISIS between December 9 and December 15.

The US began airstrikes against the terror group inside the country in 2014 under former President Barack Obama.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1160940

Reported Deaths: 18968
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3783237543
San Bernardino884531129
Riverside836851434
San Diego75305988
Orange731521559
Kern39721447
Fresno37021477
Sacramento35143557
Santa Clara32049470
Alameda28225502
San Joaquin25318504
Contra Costa23146258
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20352305
Ventura18637175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco14874160
Monterey14354116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11712157
Merced11460179
Santa Barbara11166135
Kings1035987
Solano1003681
Marin7621129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo588535
Shasta460147
Yolo447674
Santa Cruz413228
Butte381259
Sutter305715
Napa290417
El Dorado20914
Yuba194810
San Benito178416
Lassen17153
Tehama156525
Mendocino146822
Nevada11639
Glenn8837
Lake87719
Tuolumne8738
Humboldt8199
Colusa6826
Siskiyou5822
Mono5093
Amador47016
Calaveras46622
Del Norte2981
Inyo28316
Plumas1920
Trinity1360
Mariposa1242
Modoc1190
Alpine470
Sierra190
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