"They are scattered and divided, but there is leadership, there are fighters there, there are helpers there," said General Joseph Votel, journalists traveling with him to the Middle East for his apology.
Votel's comments underlined the testimony of National Co-Director of Intelligence Dan Coatos against Congress, President Donald Trump briefly disagreed.
However, statements are made as US-backed fighters in the last place in Syria, where ISIS is still in control of the territory.
"I am very proud of the coalition force team we have on site and who are helping our Syrian Democratic partners who will struggle hard," Votel said. "Urban terrain, high explosive density in this area and presence of displaced persons and others trying to leave the territory."
He added that operations have been resumed in the middle of the Euphrates Valley and are currently underway.
American officials believe that dispersed fighters may be widespread in the Syrian desert
At the moment, Votel was the ultimate for all US military forces to leave Syria, but it will not indicate public time when
Presidential Commands we are very clear. We understand exactly what he said, "Votel said.
However, he also notes that US troops will continue to look for ways to keep pressure on ISIS and support SDFs without ground troops in Syria. He refused to propose concrete ways to achieve this.
After 39 years, Votel retires from the US Army.