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Pentagon: Stop using ISIL

Paul Szoldra
Iraq ISIS soldiers troops flag Mosul

(Iraqi security forces members pose with a seized ISIS flag after driving its militants out of Mosul's airport, southwest Mosul, Iraq, February 23, 2017.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)
The Pentagon is kicking former President Barack Obama's preferred nomenclature for the so-called Islamic State to the curb.

While the Obama administration often used ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, to describe the terror group, a new memo from the Pentagon's executive secretary says the department needs to start using ISIS.

"The Department of Defense will use the term Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, when referring to this threat," wrote Executive Secretary Michael Bruhn, in a memo dated Feb. 13. The change was first reported by US News & World Report.

The document mentions a Trump administration memo from Jan. 28, "Presidential Memorandum Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," and guidance from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as the reason behind the change. The January memo frequently refers to the group as ISIS, in keeping with what President Trump called the group while on the campaign trail.

Officials can also refer to the militant group as "Daesh" — an Arabic acronym that is seen as derogatory by its members.

"We view ISIS, ISIL and Da'esh as interchangeable terms for the same thing," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told US News. "ISIS is the term most known and understood by the American public, and it is what our leadership uses. This simply aligns our terminology."

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