Global coalition warns not to rest for fight against Islamic State

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Global coalition warns not to rest for fight against Islamic State

Global coalition warns not to rest for fight against Islamic State

Nearly three years after US-backed forces in Syria captured the last remaining territory of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, members of the global coalition charged with eradicating the terrorist group warned that their task was not going easy.

Despite IS’s loss of several key leaders and intelligence, which suggests a dwindling number of fighters in core areas of Iraq and Syria, coalition members maintain that the group’s reputation and ideology – also known as ISIS or Daesh for Arabic acronyms – remain the same. Also known by the name – Continuing Keep your partners together while fueling its development.

Officials attending Wednesday’s ministerial conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, say there is no more worrying threat than in Africa, where a joint coalition release described IS as a “growing threat”.

“Our shared assessment of the alarming rise of the terrorist threat in Africa has led to the rise of an approach consistent with the coalition’s support for the African continent,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said after the meeting.

is in africa

The United States, which co-hosted the ministerial meeting with Morocco, stressed the need to strengthen African members of the losing ISIS coalition, in what US officials have called a citizen-centred approach.

US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said, “ISIS and other terrorist groups often present themselves as alternatives to the state, and so it is important that we work with our allies to ensure that we provide services and security to our people.” enhance the capacity of the state to provide

“The United States is committed to working with our partners in West Africa to address the challenges that have allowed this group to thrive. Among them, lack of legitimacy of the state, frequent violation of rights and food insecurity,” he added.

While other US officials have told the VOA that the threat from IS in Africa is growing rapidly, allies in West African countries and the Sahel are in many cases looking for ways to increase their numbers by preying on local grievances.

Intelligence estimates from countries working with the United Nations put the number of IS-affiliated fighters in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Mozambique at more than 7,000, with some US and Western counter-terrorism officials warning that the numbers are still high. is also increasing.

However, to focus all attention on pushing back against IS in Africa, the global coalition, and in particular US officials, stressed the need not to lose sight of the threat still posed by IS in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan.

“ISIS in Iraq is a covert threat and too serious to conduct a large-scale attack,” Doug Hoyt, the US deputy envoy to the coalition, told the VOA before the ministerial.

Iraq

“We are still seeing ISIS elements, in fact, in the seam between Iraqi Kurdistan and greater Iraq, as well as in some border areas in Nineveh,” Hoyt said. “And I think unless we solve Syria, it will be a problem for Iraq.”

Intelligence shared by various countries with UN counter-terrorism officials indicates that the terrorist group has 6,000 to 8,000 fighters spread across Iraq and Syria, with a UN report last February calling IS “a Stunted rural revolt”.

Earlier US intelligence estimates warned that IS numbers in Iraq and Syria could be even higher in the range of 8,000-16,000.

And information shared by the US Defense Intelligence Agency for a recent Defense Department Inspector General report said the terrorist group has been operating primarily in Syria’s central desert, while the agency continues its strategic withdrawal.

However, other measures indicate that the threat from IS in Syria may rise again.

Syria

US counterterrorism officials have raised concerns about an IS attack on the al-Sina prison in Hasaka, Syria, last January, a bold and complicated plot that sought to free 4,000 IS prisoners.

Recently, the pro-Kurdish research group Rojava Information Center said IS sleeper cells carried out 54 attacks in northeastern Syria in April, an 184% increase from the previous month.

There are also concerns about some 10,000 IS fighters, including some 2,000 foreign fighters, still held in prisons run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

For years, the US has urged other countries to bring back their IS fighters from Syria. And officials told the VOA that the effort is ongoing.

“We’re trying to set an example in America by bringing back people who are U.S. citizens, and we’re also working to help countries whose Have questions or who have a problem to go back to.” Special Envoy of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS K.

“Many people want to change their laws so that when these individuals are prosecuted – if they are prosecuted – they have a longer sentence,” Ingram said.

Meanwhile, the State Department on Wednesday pledged $350 million to communities in northeastern Syria and $350 million to Iraq to help stabilize communities ravaged by IS.

For some officials in Syria, that money may not come quickly.

“It is very important for young people to avoid being recruited by ISIS,” US representative Sinam Mohamed, the SDF’s political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), told VOA.

Afghanistan

Coalition members on Wednesday also acknowledged growing fears about a possible resurgence of IS in Afghanistan, calling the ally, also known as IS-Khorasan province, “a growing threat to the South and Central Asian region.” “

“Everyone’s looking at it right now,” Ingram of the State Department told VOA ahead of the ministerial meeting.

“The reality is that we are already starting to engage with our Central Asian partners, even if they are in observer status, at the highest level,” he said.

U.S. defense and counter-terrorism officials began warning more than a year ago that IS was beginning to lay the groundwork for a revival in Afghanistan, while observers in the region told the VOA that the group included parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Trying to gain a foothold in neighboring countries. Tajikistan.

Intelligence estimates shared by the United Nations earlier this year said the allied had more than doubled in size to more than 4,000 fighters since US forces left Afghanistan last August.

On Tuesday, DIA director Lieutenant General Scott Barrier told lawmakers in Washington that IS-Khorasan could “restructure its ability to launch attacks on targets outside Afghanistan in perhaps a year, (or) a little while.”

“The fact that they have made some successful and devastating strikes … doesn’t bode well for the future,” Barrier said.

Associated Press information was used in this report.

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