- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2014

The U.S. military commander who leads the new task force carrying out operations in Iraq and Syria used the term “Daesh” to describe the Islamic State group for the first time on Thursday during a Pentagon briefing.

“Daesh” is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham). The English acronyms ISIL and ISIS are also used to describe the terror group.

Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, commander of Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve, argued that using ISIL or ISIS lends too much credibility to the group’s sought-after caliphate.

“Our partners, at least the ones that I work with, ask us to use [‘Daesh’] because they feel that if you use ISIL that you legitimize a self-declared caliphate, and actually they feel pretty strongly that we should not be doing that,” he said, pentagon-calls-isis-daesh-for-first-time” target=”_blank”>The Hill reported.

“Daesh is why we are here. Daesh uses terror and fear to dominate people and reward themselves. It has demonstrated time and time again a disregard for life and humanity. It has also openly stated intentions to apply its trademark barbaric methods not only regionally, but globally as well,” Lt. Gen. Terry said.

The Boston Globe reported that “Daesh” can be understood as an insult to Arabic speakers. Depending on how it is conjugated, it can mean anything from “to trample down and crush” to “a bigot who imposes his view on others,” the paper said.

Lt. Gen. Terry used the word 25 times in a 30-minute news conference with reporters Thursday, The Washington Post said.

It was not immediately made clear whether other Pentagon officials would be following the general’s lead.

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