The U.S. government remains committed to ending Daesh and its ideology in Iraq, Syria, Africa, the Middle East and around the world, even though attacks by the extremist group have declined significantly in recent years, say senior US officials.
Maj. Gen. Matthew McFarlane, Commander Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), and Dana Stroul, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, held a digital press conference on Monday to provide an update. on the progress made in terms of the fight against the extremist group Daesh or by another name, ISIS.
“ISIS or Daesh remains militarily defeated and no longer holds any territory. However, Daesh ideology remains free and active, seeking to reconstitute itself and resume its campaign of hatred in this region and around the world.said Major General McFarlane.
On the other hand, “thanks to the efforts of our partners, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the activity and effectiveness of Isis throughout our area of operations since the beginning of the year, in Iraq, that is to say from January 1 until the first week of April. We saw a record 68% reduction in attacks compared to the same period last year in Syria“, he revealed.
According to the senior US official, there have been only 19 recorded attacks in Iraq this year, down 80% from last year and 87% from 2020. The same was true in Syria, with a decrease of 37% compared to 2022 and 70% compared to 2020, thanks to “our partners who continue to disrupt and dismantle the activities of ISIS“.
“We also continue to focus on preventing any resurgence through our repatriation efforts from detention centers and detainee camps. In 2023, we witnessed the repatriation of more than 1,300 third-country nationals. However, there are still a large number of nationals of these countries in these camps.“explains the commander.
For her part, Dana Stroul clarified that the American army has converted its military role into an advisory, assistance and enabling role, in which the Iraqi security forces are on the front line, every day, and US forces remain in Iraq at the invitation of the country’s government.
Speaking of partnership,I would also like to emphasize the international nature of the global coalition to fight against Daesh“. More than 80 countries, as well as the NATO mission in Iraq, are partners with American forces in Iraq and Syria, not only for the fight against terrorism and military operations, but also to defeat propaganda and ideology of ISIS, she said.
“We also work with governments to encourage them to repatriate their detainees or their families who are in the camp, and also to facilitate and share lessons learned and best practices on how to reintegrate and rehabilitate those who are able to do so in their societies. This is extremely important work“, continues the manager.
Responding to a question about efforts in Africa, Stroul says there is active planning with partners in the Sahel on how “we work together to fight against ISIS. These are areas of constant communication and work that the United States seeks to achieve and maintain by working with its essential allies and partners.“.
And to add:And here, of course, Morocco is a critical partner that shares U.S. interests and objectives, and that counters violent extremism and looks not only to the Sahel region, but to all of Africa.“.