Despite losing territory that at its peak was the size of England, ISIS is far from defeated. The threat of a resurgent ISIS, or “ISIS 2.0” is real. The Defense Intelligence Agency estimates that 30,000 ISIS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria. American troops deployed in the region are working closely alongside local partners to deny an ISIS comeback by promoting effective local governance and delivering basic services to the traumatized population.
One such project in Syria was identified to Spirit of America by a US Special Forces team. A former train station sits on a dusty road outside Hajin, a town recently liberated from ISIS. The bullet-ridden building was converted into a medical clinic that will treat civilians and US partner forces. At the time it was set up, it was the only medical facility within 100 miles. The clinic, which could not be fully furnished with US Government funds alone, will do much more than provide medical care to civilians – it will also reinforce the legitimacy of the local government and promote goodwill towards US and Coalition troops.
While discussing Spirit of America support for the clinic, a Special Forces soldier told me “I cannot understate the significant positive effect it will have on our mission to provide medical care to these individuals, particularly because of the positive impact it will have on our relations with the returning populace as my [team] is operating within the area.”