Tuesday, July 24, 2018 8:04 am
The U.S. said the destruction of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group was an urgent priority for the President Donald Trump’s administration.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in a statement that there has been continued success of operations to defeat the ISIS in Syria.
Pompeo said: “The liberation of Iraq and ISIS’s losses in Syria is a major achievement but our mission is not complete.
“Destroying ISIS continues to be an urgent priority for President Trump and the Administration.
“Last week, I convened 53 members of our coalition to defeat ISIS, to discuss the next phase of the campaign and the imperative for coalition burden sharing, particularly with respect to stabilising liberated areas’’.
He said the U.S. congratulated the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on their successful operations to liberate al-Dashisha, Syria, from the scourge of ISIS.
Dashisha, since 2013, has been a key stronghold and transit route for ISIS fighters, weapons and suicide bombers between Syria and Iraq.
The SDF now controls the area, with Iraqi Security Forces controlling the Iraqi side of the border, which Pompeo said was a significant milestone.
The SDF ground offensive cleared over 1,200 square kilometres in the Dashisha area.
“The offensive was part of our coalition-backed effort to clear the last pockets of ISIS-held territory in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and the Iraq-Syria border region.
“We commend the bravery and sacrifice of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
“We also commend the significant efforts of the Iraqi Security Forces to ensure that ISIS could not flee into Iraq and for the artillery and air support provided during key moments of the operation,’’ he said.
Pompeo expressed gratitude for the significant contributions the U.S. had received to date, in the defeat of the terrorist group.
He said the U.S. looked for these contributions to accelerate as “our partners in the SDF prepare for the next phase of operations against the few remaining ISIS strongholds in Syria.
“In parallel, we will work with the United Nations and our partners to forge a lasting settlement of the Syrian conflict’’.
According to him, a lasting settlement of the Syrian conflict includes full representation for all Syrians, including the people of northeast Syria, now recovering from the ISIS occupation.