ISIL to be wiped off map imminently: Trump
WASHINGTON- Agence France-Presse
A bullish U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on March 20 that the ISIL would be wiped off the map within hours, as he unfurled printouts showing the jihadists' shrinking presence in Iraq and Syria.
Trump claimed American forces have inflicted significant casualties on the battlefield in the past month.
He has signaled the group's imminent demise on several previous occasions ISIL has yet to wave the white flag of surrender.
In one map shown by Trump to reporters in Washington and then again at a rally to workers at a military tank factory in Lima, Ohio, ISIL territory marked in red extends over large areas.
A second map, he said, shows the extremist organization about to be wiped out.
"There is no red. In fact, there's actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight," he said at the White House.
Later in Ohio, standing by M1A2 Abrams tanks painted in camouflage in front of a huge American flag, Trump again used his map props to highlight the military gains against the jihadists.
"When I took over it was a mess, they were all over the place, all over Syria and Iraq," he said of ISIL, pointing at the red territory.
"And now you look at it, and there's no red," he crowed as workers cheered. "As of today, this is ISIL, there's none. The caliphate is gone as of tonight."
After sweeping across swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, the ISIL militants’ cross-border caliphate has been whittled down by multiple offensives to the tiny embattled enclave in Baghouz, Syria.