Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a briefing where he described U.S. plans and policies related to several global hot spots.
Regarding ISIS, he said the President Trump’s new policy was to surround ISIS strongholds before moving in to annihilate its forces. The intent was to keep extremist fighters from escaping to fight in other conflicts.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford addressed a clash between U.S. and Syrian government troops, saying it was a “force protection strike.
Our commanders on the ground felt like they were threatened at that point and their rules of engagement allow them to do that,” Dunford explained.
“We’ve gone back and had a conversation at every level now to ensure those kinds of incidents don’t take place again,” he said.
Secretary Mattis also discussed the tensions with North Korea. He said that Chinese efforts seemed to having some effect.
“If this goes to a military solution, it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale,” he said. “Our effort is to work the U.N., work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation.”