Pompeo: U.S. takes down 99% of ISIS caliphate

Pompeo: U.S. takes down 99% of ISIS caliphate

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said 99% of the ISIS’s caliphate has been destroyed, reinforcing the Trump administration's case to withdraw 2000 U.S. troops in Syria that have been working to combat the terrorist group.

"We've taken down 99% of the caliphate. Ninety-nine percent of the caliphate. That should be the first sentence in every story. Right? Everybody agree?" Pompeo said. "Anybody dispute the facts? This has been an enormously successful campaign."

The Secretary of State also dismissed comparisons to former President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw troops in Iraq in 2011, which critics have argued fostered the rise of the ISIS. "I am confident we will continue to ensure that the kind of rise ISIS had under the Obama administration doesn't occur again," the Washington Examiner cited him as saying.

"The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is going to be with us for a while, and we’re determined to stay at it and continue to make sure that the resurgence of large land-based caliphates like ISIS don’t happen on our watch," Pompeo said.

Pompeo has embarked on an international trip that will include stops in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, among other places.