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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: Has ISIS Been ‘Defeated’?

In this fact-checking segment, CNN’s Jake Tapper reviews Vice President Mike Pence’s claim that “ISIS has been defeated.”

The vice president made his remarks at the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference on Jan. 16 — the same day that ISIS claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Syria that killed four Americans, including two U.S. service members.

Pence’s statement about ISIS also came less than a month after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw troops from Syria, declaring that ISIS had been beaten “badly.”  

It is true that the U.S. and its allies have retaken virtually all of the land ISIS controlled in Iraq and Syria, but military and terrorism experts say the group still has tens of thousands of fighters and remains dangerous.

On Dec. 11, 2018, just eight days before Trump announced a troop withdrawal from Syria, Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, said at a press briefing that ISIS is “down to the last 1 percent of the physical territory” it used to control. But, McGurk added, “Nobody is declaring a mission accomplished. Defeating a physical caliphate is one phase of a much longer-term campaign.”

For more information about the U.S.-led coalition campaign against ISIS, see our story, “Pence’s Claim that ISIS ‘Has Been Defeated.'”  

This video is part of our collaboration with CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper.” Past videos can be found on FactCheck.org.