The Trump administration has instructed military officials to reject Obama’s preferred acronym of ISIL when referring to the Islamic State terror group, and instead refer to the group as ISIS.
ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, was commonly used by the Obama administration and appeared in official documents and statements. It has also been reported that some U.S. military officials used the Arabic term “Daesh” out of deference to Arab allies who argue that the term irritates the militants.
A memo signed last week by a senior Defense Department official, it informed members of the military departments to adopt the new term “ISIS,”short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, when communicating about the terror group that spans from Libya to Afghanistan.
The Pentagon released a memorandum dated Feb. 13 outlining the official change:
“We view ISIS, ISIL and Da’esh as interchangeable terms for the same thing. ISIS is the term most known and understood by the American public, and it is what our leadership uses. This memo simply aligns our terminology.”
Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Friday, “We have officially switched to ISIS. They all mean the same thing.” He also clarified that ISIS was already being used unofficially inside the Pentagon because it was the “easiest to understand.”
While on the campaign trail, Trump often blasted Obama for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and for his continued use of ISIL.“The only one that says ISIL is Obama . . . just not a good person,” he said.
When Obama was confronted about why he didn’t use the phrase, he insisted that “loose language that appears to pose a civilizational conflict between the West and Islam, or the modern world and Islam, then we make it harder, not easier, for our friends and allies and ordinary people to resist and push back against the worst impulses inside the Muslim world,” he told The Atlantic.
Trump also repeatedly insisted that the threat of ISIS facing the U.S. was far greater than Obama led Americans to believe.
The change in terminology comes at a pivotal time when the senior officials of the Trump administration plan to meet on Monday to lay out a new Pentagon plan for combating the militant group, one that officials are hopeful will end in the defeat of the terror group, according to the report.
H/T: Washington Post
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