The Commander of the Central Command of the U.S. Military Gen. Joseph L. Votel has said that the conditions-based South Asia strategy in Afghanistan is working.

While briefing the U.S. Senators regarding the regional challenges, Gen. Votel said “In the final two weeks of 2018, Centcom supported the United Nations special envoy in the establishment of a nascent cease fire in Yemen, enabled the work of a U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, began planning for the orderly and professional withdrawal under pressure of U.S. forces in Syria, while maintaining coalition efforts to support the government of Iraq and the Iraqi security forces in addressing the remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in that country.”

“We continue to use military ways and means to advance our end state of reconciliation,” he told the U.S. Senators. “In Syria and Iraq, the unrelenting work of the 79-member Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Coalition, the determination and bravery of the Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Force partners and the support of multiple international government organizations has largely liberated the so-called physical caliphate of ISIS.”

“The successful partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi security forces was instrumental in [territorial] gains against ISIS,” Votel continued, “but it is important to understand that even though this territory has been reclaimed, the fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed.”

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