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US Casts Doubt on Islamic State's Staying Power

A top U.S. military official is pushing back against the Pentagon's own estimates which suggest the Islamic State terror group has retained significant capabilities in Iraq and Syria, and is "well-positioned" to rebuild its lost caliphate.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, challenged recent estimates from both the U.S. Defense Department and a United Nations report, indicating IS still has anywhere from 20,000 to 32,000 fighters in the two countries despite the collapse of its self-declared caliphate."I saw the recent reports of over 30,000 fighters," Dunford told reporters Tuesday during a rare news conference with Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon. "I don't have high confidence in those particular numbers."We're focused on dealing with what remains a threat in [the] Euphrates River Valley. We know there are remaining residual pockets of ISIS inside Iraq," Dunford added, using an acronym for the terror group. "But I certainly would not say ISIS has the same strength that it had at its peak."

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Helpline 1090