American artillery soldiers respond to a fire mission somewhere in Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve to provide assistance to their Iraqi partners on Nov. 6, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. F. Cordoba)

Defeat of ISIS ‘Within Our Grasp,’ CENTCOM Commander Says

The United States and its partners have made significant progress in Iraq and Syria, but investments are needed to ensure the gains endure, the commander of U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.

U.S., coalition and local partners have made immense contributions to security in the Centcom region, the “most complex area on the globe,” Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a fiscal year 2019 budget hearing.

“In the past year, we have achieved incredible success against [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in both Iraq and Syria,” the general told lawmakers.

Votel commended the Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces for their steadfast efforts, noting they are “operating at their most effective levels.”

They have liberated over 98 percent of the territory previously held by ISIS, he said.

“The destruction of the ISIS physical caliphate is within our grasp,” Votel said.

Read more at the Defense Department

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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