The battle commander of the United States backed fighters in Syria released a statement on Saturday which included positive news. According to the commander, the war against Da’ish/IS is at its near end, as IS’s territory has been reduced to a tiny enclave on the Euphrates. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had cornered the remaining militants in a neighbourhood of Baghouz village near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides, and it is predicted that in the coming few days, we will soon see the military end of Da’ish as the terrorist group Is fated to lose power over every territory it claimed. After five years of brutal repression, an international crisis, major destabilisation of the Middle East and loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, the story of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is about to be banished to the dustbin of history.

Yet the violence in these areas and the struggle with extremist factions is not likely to end with just the last battle. The caliphate may fall but it will leave more than 800 IS fighters captured in Syria, as well as many other radicalised factions and groups ready to take up the void that IS left. Who will put those IS fighters to trial and prosecute them, or who will rehabilitate the populations left in order to prevent the cycle of continuing radicalism?

Judging from the mood, certainly not the United States. The US President Trump has on several occasions announced his prerogative to pull U.S troops out of Syria. On Saturday, President Trump tweeted that the caliphate was “ready to fall and that the United States was asking European allies to take back more than 800 Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial…. The US does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing.” It seems President Trump is eager to claim the victory of fulfilling his campaign promise of ending IS militarily but is not so keen on staying behind and dealing with the often catastrophic mess that remains behind after the soldiers have gone home. Instead, he seems to have relegated this duty to US’s Western allies.