Terrorist attacks in Syria, elsewhere must be answered

Islamic terrorists are unpredictable in many ways.

But their reaction to one situation can be forecast with considerable certainty: When U.S. officials announce a draw down of troops from a region being contested against the terrorist, bloodshed will increase rather than lessen.

In both Afghanistan and Iraq, we have seen it happen over and over again.

U.S. agreement to reduce troop strength is viewed by the terrorists as a sign of weakness to be exploited in the interest of their primary goal — killing Americans.

It happened again this week, in Syria.

President Donald Trump has announced plans to pull U.S. forces out of that ravaged country. Islamic State forces there have been decimated, he points out.

Attacks by the Syrian regime and its Russian backers should polish off any remaining ISIS threats.

Trump’s pledge has been criticized severely by some. In many ways, it makes sense, however.

But recently, ISIS terrorists in Manbij, Syria, attacked a U.S. patrol, killing several American troops. Until that development, Manbij had been described as a U.S.-controlled town.

There was no strategic or tactical reason for the assault. Clearly, it was mounted solely with the goal of murdering more Americans.

The U.S. reaction ought to be a similarly unnecessary attack on an ISIS enclave.

Unless the terrorists are convinced they will pay a stiff price for their bloodthirstiness, they will continue to harass Americans on their way out of Syria.