7,780. 5/19/2017

CABINET/DEFENSE/TRUMP PEOPLE/JAMES MATTIS: “U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday [5-19-17] the U.S.-led coalition was now encircling Islamic State fighters in their strongholds in a tactical shift before starting a military campaign to destroy them.
Also speaking at the Pentagon on Friday, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, said strikes against Syrian government-backed fighters this week were a ‘force protection measure,’ and would not happen again if U.S. forces are not threatened.”

-Phil Stewart and David Alexander, “U.S.’ Mattis says coalition will encircle IS fighters, before starting military campaign,” Reuters, May 19, 2017 1:42pm

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