Blinken Urges US Allies to Keep Up Islamic State Fight

By VOA News

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, accompanied by tour guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, gets a tour of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, June 28, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged allies Monday to maintain a focus on defeating the Islamic State group, with a particular focus on countering its affiliates in Africa.

“We’ve made great progress because we’ve been working together, so we hope you’ll keep an eye on the fight, keep up the fight against this terrorist organization until it is decisively defeated,” Blinken said in Italy Monday at the start of a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

He said coalition efforts had produced “significant achievements,” including virtually ceasing the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria.

Blinken noted that 10,000 ISIS militants are being detained by Syrian Democratic Forces, calling the situation “simply untenable” and calling on governments to repatriate their citizens for rehabilitation or prosecution.

The top U.S. diplomat announced $436 million in additional humanitarian aid for Syrians and communities in surrounding countries that have been hosting Syrian refugees.  He said the money would go toward providing food, water, shelter, health care, education and protection.

The United States launched a coalition effort, now involving 83 members, aimed at defeating the Islamic State group in 2014 after the militants seized control of a large area across northern Syria and Iraq, and in 2019 declared the militants had been ousted from their last remaining territory.  

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