US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Tuesday about the need to remain focused on the ISIS defeat forever, although most militants have been removed from areas once controlled in Iraq and Syria.
Tillerson spoke at a conference in Kuwait for members of the coalition formed by America by the end of 2014, with a multi-direction strategy to deal with ISIS, including through US-led air strikes and efforts to cut funding for the group and the flow of foreign fighters. Tillerson said that ISIS still poses a serious threat to stability in the region, in coalition member countries and elsewhere in the world.
He said the militants no longer controlled 98 percent of the territory they seized at its peak, in 2014, as they declared the formation of the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, but they now pose a different threat.
In Iraq and Syria, ISIS seeks to turn into insurrection, and in other places such as Afghanistan, Philippines, Libya, West Africa, ISIS seeks to shape safe havens, he continued.
Tillerson announces $ 200 million in new aid to liberate parts of Syria. Also Tuesday, he is scheduled to take part in a conference of donors aimed at rebuilding the regions of Iraq.
Ahead of the meeting, senior State Department officials said attention should be on target, while explaining the need to focus on defeating ISIS. He highlighted the recent conflict in the region of Afrin, northern Syria, between Turkish forces and Syrian-backed Democratic Forces as a diversion of the target.
The official, and Tillerson in their comments on Tuesday (13/2), are aware of Turkey's concerns about Kurdish militants who are perceived as a threat.
Tillerson is on his fifth countries in the region, beginning in Egypt and covering stops in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. [uh]