Latest Joseph Votel News

US: Time to expand the international coalition against IS

Feb. 15, 2019 12:27 PM EST

MUNICH, Germany (AP) — The top Pentagon official said Friday he foresees a "bigger and stronger" American-led international coalition combatting the Islamic State group globally as the U.S. withdraws its troops from Syria. Pat Shanahan, on his first trip abroad as the acting secretary of defense, made his...

Fierce battles near final IS foothold in eastern Syria

Feb. 11, 2019 3:15 PM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group militants cornered in their last foothold in eastern Syria fought back with suicide car bombs, snipers and booby traps Monday, slowing Kurdish fighters advancing under the cover of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Kurdish news agencies and a Syrian war monitor said. An...

Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace

Feb. 11, 2019 6:36 AM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Pentagon's top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban. Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop...

Cornered in Syria, IS lays groundwork for a new insurgency

Feb. 6, 2019 10:13 AM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State gunmen came out of hiding in the middle of the night and set up a checkpoint on a rural road in eastern Syria. For several hours, they stopped those passing and searched through their mobile phones to check their allegiances, until they vanished again into the desert. One...

US commander: IS hold in Syria, Iraq on verge of collapse

Feb. 5, 2019 3:23 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to declare near-total triumph over the Islamic State group in Syria in his State of the Union address Tuesday, but U.S. defense officials are increasingly fearful that the militants are simply biding their time until the Americans leave the battlefield...

The Latest: General says militant group's hold near collapse

Feb. 5, 2019 9:52 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Syria (all times local): 9:50 a.m. The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says the Islamic State group's territorial hold in Syria and Iraq is on the verge of collapse. Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of Central Command, made the assertion...