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Macron Predicts International Coalition to Announce Victory against ISIS ‘within Weeks’

Macron Predicts International Coalition to Announce Victory against ISIS ‘within Weeks’

Friday, 19 January, 2018 - 18:15
French President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that the ISIS was “completely” defeated in Syria and Iraq, predicting that the international coalition fighting the terrorist organization will announce victory “within weeks.”

"Today, thanks to the efforts of all the nations involved, the ISIS organization is almost completely defeated," Macron said in a speech aboard a helicopter carrier in the southern port of Toulon.

"I'm confident that in the coming weeks we will achieve a military victory on the ground," he said.

"I want us now to firmly commit with our partners to stabilization, reconstruction and aide to populations" after years of conflict, he said.

With many of its leaders dead and its fighters on the run, ISIS has now lost almost all the land it once controlled in Syria and Iraq.

France, which recently pulled out two of the 12 Rafale fighter jets it had been operating in the region, currently has about 1,200 personnel in the international coalition fighting the terrorists.

Macron said that although combat operations would continue, the country would "adapt" its contribution this year to developments, without providing details.

The French government has increased the 2018 defense budget by 1.8 billion euros, bringing it to 34.2 billion euros ($42 billion).

Macron reiterated his pledge to lift French defense spending to two percent of the country's GDP by 2025, in line with the target agreed to by NATO members in 2014.

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