Feb 5, 2018

Report: Thousands of escaped ISIS fighters "awaiting orders" in Syria

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard on a rooftop in Raqa last October after retaking the city from Islamic State fighters. Photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of Islamic State fighters and their relatives have fled from U.S.-led military campaign in eastern Syria, The New York Times reports, citing new classified intelligence assessments.

Why it matters: Some are hiding in areas near Damascus, the Syrian capital, and are awaiting orders from their leaders through encrypted communications channels. This undercuts the Trump administration’s claim that the terrorist group has largely been eradicated, per the Times.

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