Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Sunday the US had “accelerated” its tactics against the Islamic State, moving from a policy of “attrition” to one of “annihilation”.
Armed police arrest man during fresh raids in Manchester bomb investigation
The retired Marine Corps general also said “civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation”, adding: “We’re not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. And so we’re doing what we can.”
His remarks came a day after he cited the suicide bombing in Manchester, which has been claimed by Isis, in a speech to graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“Manchester’s tragic loss underscores the purpose of your years of study and training at this elite school,” Mattis said on Saturday. “We must never permit murderers to define our time or warp our sense of normal. This is not normal.”
The bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena killed 22 people, the youngest an eight-year-old girl, and injured dozens more. Fourteen people have been arrested, with two subsequently released. The bomber, Salman Abedi, had been to Libya and may have traveled to Syria.
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