Anti-ISIS coalition calls for sustained operations in Iraq and Syria

US-led coalition says the extremist group still poses a threat.

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The US-led global alliance against ISIS called for continuous maneuvers in Iraq and Syria to endure the fight against the terror group, dictum that it has augmented its activities in latest months.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken led a group of foreign ministers from other alliance member countries in an announcement, indicating that while ISIS “no longer controls territory and nearly 8 million people have been freed from its control in Iraq and Syria, the threat remains”.

The ministers expressed their condolences and reiterated their support to Iraqi authorities following the increased Daesh/ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria in recent months, including the double suicide attacks in Baghdad on January 21, and called for continued and coordinated action.

“This includes allocating adequate military and civilian resources to sustain coalition and legitimate partner forces’ efforts against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, including stabilization support to liberated areas, to safeguard Iraq and Syria’s stability and our collective security interests.” the announcement stated.

“We continue to closely monitor ISIS activity throughout Syria and assess that ISIS has continued its efforts to regroup and carry out attacks in non-Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controlled areas led by the YPG terrorist organization – particularly, the one example observed in the Badia desert,” John Godfrey, acting Special Envoy to the counter-ISIS alliance, told journalists on a press call broadcasted by the ministry on Monday.

The ministers also greeted NATO’s conclusion last month to incrementally enlarge the alliance’s “non-combat advisory and training mission in Iraq, with the full consent of the government of Iraq and complementing the coalition’s efforts”.

Godfrey said that: “Iraqi security forces have become increasingly capable in their efforts to counter ISIS operations”.

The coalition declaration also restated an “unwavering commitment” to working with the Iraqi government but condemned attacks on US-led coalition forces stationed throughout the country by Iran-backed militias.

Blinken and his counterparts recalled that: “attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi partners, such as those that occurred in Erbil, Baghdad and al Assad are unacceptable and compromise our collective efforts at the expense of the people of Iraq”.

With Baghdad’s request, the US and Iraq will hold their first strategic dialogue under the Biden administration to discuss American military presence in the country.

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