Vice President Mike Pence announced that “the caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated” on the same day of an ISIS attack in Syria, CNN reported on Wednesday.
Pence’s declaration to the Global Chiefs of Mission conference at the U.S. State Department was approximately an hour after the attack was confirmed. American troops were killed during a routine patrol in Syria and ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which was said to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.
A White House official said the administration hadn’t “publicly confirmed the deaths at the time (Pence) spoke.” Yet, the coalition against ISIS confirmed that there had been U.S. deaths via twitter about an hour before Pence spoke.
On Wednesday, Pence relayed his condolences to “the loved ones of the fallen” and he condemned the attack. Still, Pence maintained that the ISIS caliphate was “devastated.”
He said, "Thanks to the courage of our Armed Forces, we have crushed the ISIS caliphate and devastated its capabilities. As we begin to bring our troops home, the American people can be assured, for the sake of our soldiers, their families, and our nation, we will never allow the remnants of ISIS to reestablish their evil and murderous caliphate - not now, not ever."
This attack happens as the U.S. prepares to withdraw its troops from Syria. Pence said the U.S. would “stay in the region and we’ll stay in the fight to insure that ISIS does not rear its ugly head again.”