– The Sun News

Islamic State yet to suffer ‘enduring defeat’, says Tillerson

Reuters/NAN

The end of major combat operations against Islamic State does not mean the U.S. and its allies have achieved an enduring defeat of the militant group,  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

Tillerson made this known at a meeting in Kuwait of the global coalition against Islamic State.

He also said Washington had decided to provide an additional 200 million dollars of aid to stabilise liberated areas in Syria.

“The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS, he said, referring to the group using an acronym.

“ISIS remains a serious threat to the stability of the region, our homelands, and other parts of the globe.”

The hardline militants, who lost all territory they held in Iraq and are on the cusp of defeat in Syria, are trying to gain territory in other countries where they are active, he said, adding that “History must not be allowed to repeat itself elsewhere.

“In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is attempting to morph into an insurgency. In places like Afghanistan, the Philippines, Libya, West Africa, and others it is trying to carve out and secure safe havens.”

Tillerson said he was concerned over recent events in northwest Syria, where Turkey launched an assault last month on a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia it considers a threat on its southern border.

He said that he was keenly aware of Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns”.

NAN reports that the Global Coalition to Counter Islamic State was formed in September 2014 with the expressed aim of degrading and defeating Islamic State.

According to the U.S. State Department, IS presents a global terrorist threat.

It has recruited thousands of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria from around the globe and has leveraged technology to spread its violent extremist ideology and to incite terrorist acts.

The coalition consists of 68 nations. Russia, China and Iran are not members, but Russia and Iran are independently fighting IS militants in Syria.

Some members of the coalition, including Britain, Australia, France and a handful of regional powers, have helped launch airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, while others have cracked down on the flow of funds and foreign fighters to IS.

Still others have contributed humanitarian aid, taken in refugees, or provided weapons and trained fighters on the ground.

In its aim to defeat Islamic State, the coalition employs a mutually reinforcing five-pronged approach: conducting a military campaign in Iraq and Syria, impeding the flow of foreign fighters, stopping financing and funding of the jihadists, addressing humanitarian crises in the region, and exposing the group’s false religious narrative.

The coalition is working to implement the obligations and recommendations set forth in a UN Security Council resolution passed in 2014.

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Tokunbo David
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