(Military.com) Richard Sisk 6 Aug 2019 ISIS has made a comeback in Syria as U.S. forces draw down according to an alarming quarterly report from the Pentagon Inspector General released Tuesday. In the period from April 1 to June 30 the Islamic State terror group continued a successful transition from a territory-holding force to an insurgency in Syria while building up its insurgent capabilities in Iraq the report said. The withdrawal of U.S. troops limits the support they can give to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) east of the Euphrates as the SDF combats new threats from ISIS. The reduction of U.S. forces in Syria decreased the support available for Syrian partner forces at a time when they need more training and equipping to respond to the ISIS resurgence the IG report found. The report also warned that the SDF could look for alternate partnerships and resources as U.S. influence wanes -- possibly from Russia or the Damascus regime. SDF leaders have previously spoken of turning to the Russians or the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if they are abandoned by the U.S. Efforts by the SDF to seek other partnerships would be detrimental to the United States mission in Iraq and Syria according to Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve cited in the report.
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