What is the military term for driving militants out of a city, and declaring the city completely militant-free?

I got an advice to use the word "cleansed", but I am not really convinced it is the right word.

  • 1
    Neutralize is one word. Also, the area is cleared of hostiles.
    – vickyace
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:28
  • Pacification is "to rid an area of terrorists or other enemies by military force or psychological persuasion". Apr 7, 2017 at 16:37
  • A less formal expression that is used is "taking out the trash".
    – fixer1234
    Apr 7, 2017 at 23:45
  • Occupation works
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 11, 2017 at 2:29
  • Cleanse has negative connotations because of the euphemism ethnic cleansing, used to refer to forced migrations and genocide in post-Yugoslav states in the 1990s. If you say an army is cleansing an area, you are associating them with war criminals. Purify has similar problems.
    – choster
    Apr 11, 2017 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


expelled verb

to drive or force out or away; discharge or eject: for example, to expel air from the lungs; or to expel an invader from a country.

They expelled the militants from the city makes sense.

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