Just two days ago President Donald Trump claimed the final battle with ISIL (ISIS) forces in Syria would end by Wednesday night. But on Friday people near the battle reported fighting continues.
In his usual dramatic fashion, Trump held up maps on Wednesday. And Friday the White House announced the 100% elimination of ISIS in Syria.
The message came via Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Air Force One.
Sarah Sanders tells reporters on Air Force One that the territorial ISIS caliphate has been 100 percent eliminated… https://t.co/qI7ztTI7dd— Saagar Enjeti (@Saagar Enjeti) 1553271347.0
@realDonaldTrump @foxandfriends Demented President Grandpa™ is live-tweeting Racist Romper Room while a helicopter… https://t.co/ALcxI95qnN— Jeff Tiedrich (@Jeff Tiedrich) 1553259704.0
@realDonaldTrump @foxandfriends in case you want to accuse me of making this up, too: https://t.co/TR3NizNZA6— Jeff Tiedrich (@Jeff Tiedrich) 1553260427.0
But the announcement came as a surprise to those in Syria like MSNBC field reporter Matt Bradley.
Despite the White House's latest assertion today, @MattMcBradley in eastern Syria reports that fighting against ISI… https://t.co/mFsKXSCOIB— MSNBC (@MSNBC) 1553283115.0
CNN's foreign correspondent made a similar report.
As WH declares ISIS caliphate defeated, our @bencnn is on the ground in Eastern Syria for @CNN, reporting on heavy fire with ISIS fighters.— Jim Acosta (@Jim Acosta) 1553275829.0
“It isn’t defeated yet. It is on the brink of defeat,” @bencnn says in eastern Syria after the White House declared… https://t.co/axRa284u6M— CNN (@CNN) 1553276709.0
Trump: ISIS is 100% defeated. CNN correspondent: They are shooting at me. https://t.co/VGKiiba4Zv— Brett Kelman (@Brett Kelman) 1553275899.0
The foreign correspondents detailed ongoing hostilities in the area of Eastern Syria.
People were critical of the premature announcement by the White House.
The White House: ISIS is defeated This guy: I cant wait for ISIS to be defeated so I can get the fuck out of here… https://t.co/Rk0wXW1qah— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko) 1553276310.0
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN Alternative defeat.— Jake West (@Jake West) 1553276093.0
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN How dare you question the legitimacy of this report by the administration! I suppose you also… https://t.co/Xfa9I08ifv— puppymonkeybaby (@puppymonkeybaby) 1553276654.0
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN Wielding my crayons and cardboard paper to write a really big "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!" poste… https://t.co/ingHgL2urW— Just Moe Murph (@Just Moe Murph) 1553277158.0
@esaagar So guys...let's color one map, but not the other. We can use that to show success. They won't suspect a… https://t.co/mknBtFtZIl— Blue Wave and Blues Fan (@Blue Wave and Blues Fan) 1553273460.0
@Acosta @brianstelter @bencnn @CNN But but... there was a piece of paper...— 𝕋𝔸𝕄𝕄𝕐 ✨ (@𝕋𝔸𝕄𝕄𝕐 ✨) 1553276911.0
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN Clearly they didn't get the victory map memo. https://t.co/YfA2RU2Tuc— ᑕᕼᑌᑎK (@ᑕᕼᑌᑎK) 1553276437.0
And some saw the announcement before an actual victory as harmful.
People feared it would be used as motivation for remaining forces in Syria.
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN Déjà vu. Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War. So much winning.— Mary Quite Contrary (@Mary Quite Contrary) 1553276116.0
@Acosta @bencnn @CNN We’ve heard this story from #DonaldTrump before. 🙄— Jules Morgan (@Jules Morgan) 1553275907.0
@realDonaldTrump @foxandfriends We've seen your premature (and mostly incorrect) predictions before of ISIS being c… https://t.co/mSY6fSa5MB— Former GOP Voting Blue (@Former GOP Voting Blue) 1553261335.0
@AmazonAllie73 @JustinTrudeau ISIS is defeated? You see that on FOX news? A bit premature I think. Let's wait a bit on that one.— K0L Country Gal (@K0L Country Gal) 1553280130.0
Meanwhile the President quoted Fox News as the only major domestic or foreign news organization that backed his story.
“Our own Benjamin Hall is doing fantastic reporting on ISIS right on the from line (True). ISIS was willing to die… https://t.co/97qos2ZwNn— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1553259465.0
The President then offered a warning.
ISIS uses the internet better than almost anyone, but for all of those susceptible to ISIS propaganda, they are now… https://t.co/LiltrDNreJ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1553271304.0
....There is nothing to admire about them, they will always try to show a glimmer of vicious hope, but they are los… https://t.co/wqs0j3gvse— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1553271305.0
But even that message received considerable pushback.
@realDonaldTrump Trump uses the internet better than almost anyone, but for all of those susceptible to Trump propa… https://t.co/0rGzNOr9hW— aleem (@aleem) 1553271398.0
@realDonaldTrump ....There is nothing to admire about him, he will always try to show a glimmer of vicious hope, bu… https://t.co/YXQrnSOtvt— aleem (@aleem) 1553271507.0
With continued fighting confirmed, the status of ISIS in Syria remains undetermined.