Mattis warns 'ISIS will resurge' if US doesn't keep pressure on

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In December, Mattis was “livid” after reading reports about US local allies in Syria being targeted by Turkey following the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, two defense officials told CNN at the time. The officials said what set him off was a report that the Turkish Minister of Defense threatened to kill the US-backed Kurdish allies and put them “in ditches” once the US pulled out.

Mattis told NBC in the clip released Saturday that the current situation is one of “disarray.” He said, “Obviously, the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks. And we’ll have to see if they’re able to maintain the fight against ISIS. It’s going to have an impact. The question is, how much?”

Mattis hypothesized that even if the US declares war over and troops are pulled out, ISIS could rebuild. “We may want a war over, we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out, as President Obama learned the hard way, out of Iraq, but the enemy gets a vote, we say in the military,” he said.

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