UPDATED 1:14 PM PT — Tues. Oct. 2, 2018
Defense Secretary James Mattis recently announced the increased presence of American diplomats in Syria as the Islamic State’s presence nears extinction.
Mattis made the remarks at the French defense ministry Tuesday, clarifying the unspecified number of American envoys has doubled.
He said diplomat efforts are slowly replacing military operations as the ISIS stronghold continues to collapse.
Mattis went on to say peace in Syria remains a priority despite Russian backlash at the United Nations.
“We are still in a tough fight, make no mistake about it as ISIS has collapsed inward, in their own way they have reinforced the center as they’ve been forced to what is now less than two-percent of their original territory that they held,” explained the defense secretary.
Mattis went on to tout the relationship between the U.S. and France, deeming the “depth” and “richness” of the partnership a “considerable asset.”