Pentagon questions ability of Russia and Syria to defeat the Islamic State
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said that he is skeptical of statements made by the Russian Defense Ministry regarding its successes in the fight against the Islamic state (IS).
TASS quotes Pahon as saying that "The efforts of the authoritarian regime of [Syrian President Bashar Assad], Russia and Iran are unlikely to lead to a complete defeat of IS."
According to Pahon, the emergence of IS "is linked, inter alia, with the repressive measures of the Assad regime." Against this background, he believes, "IS will continue to resort to dangerous acts of sabotage, even if it loses control over the entire occupied territory."
The Pentagon spokesman added that for now, the Syrian army together with Russia "has not demonstrated lasting success in the withdrawal of a significant area from the control of IS."
Additionally, Pahon noted that "US troops continue to fight terrorism in Syria, and will continue to provide assistance to their allies."