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Fact check: Hillary Clinton has not been fighting ISIS her whole adult life

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Early on in the first debate, Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of failing to defeat ISIS. His line, specifically, was, “You’ve been fighting ISIS your whole life.”

The organization that would eventually become ISIS came into existence in the bloody aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Initially called al-Qaeda in Iraq, the terror group was decimated during a sustained American military offensive in 2007-’08, but it was never fully destroyed. The remnants of that group rearmed and reorganized, renaming itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in 2013. They conquered Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities, in 2014, putting themselves on the map. Therefore, you could say that fighting ISIS has been a major US government priority since either 2003 or 2013.

Hillary Clinton was born in 1947.

If you want to learn more about the history of ISIS, you can read this short history I’ve written or watch the video below: