US-led anti ISIS coalition: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi alive with no capabilities
The US-led anti ISIS coalition’s spokesman, Col. Sean Ryan said that the American forces are staying in Iraq upon its request.
In an interview with Al Hadath news channel, the spokesman said that there is no doubts there is an Iranian presence in Iraq but it does not affect them.
He added that ISIS is a tough enemy though its numbers has declined, asserting that the coalition will continue to fight the extremist group.
Col. Ryan pointed out that the political situation in Iraq is difficult at present, adding that the coalition takes any threats seriously, but its goal is to fight ISIS.
He explained that the Kurdish forces belong to the Iraqi forces, and that the coalition deals with them through the Iraqi central government.
However, he pointed out that Iraq must be united despite the differences it is witnessing.
As for the militant group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Ryan predicted that ISIS leader can be anywhere, but he has no leadership capabilities.
As for the situation in Syria, Ryan explained that it is different from Iraq, given the complexity of it
In February, NATO defense ministers agreed to a bigger “train-and-advise” mission in Iraq after a US call for the alliance to help stabilize the country after three years of war against ISIS.
Iraq officially announced victory over the militants in December, five months after capturing their stronghold Mosul.
The United States also has about 2,000 troops in Syria, assisting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) clear pockets still under the control of Islamic State along the border with Iraq.
The Iraqi military has carried out several air strikes against ISIS in Syria since last year, the last of which a few days ago, with the approval of President Bashar al-Assad and the US-led coalition.
SDF operations to finish off the militants on the Syrian side have been delayed by hundreds of explosive devices planted by ISIS, according to Ryan.