Meeting of the anti-IS coalition: what next against IS?

Status: 06/28/2021 4:30 a.m.

83 states form a coalition against the terrorist militia IS. Today their representatives meet in Rome – for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in person. Federal Foreign Minister Maas and his US colleague Blinken are also there.

From Tilmann Kleinjung,
ARD-Studio Rom

At their meeting in Rome today, the states that have joined forces in the fight against the terrorist organization “Islamic State” (IS) will discuss how to proceed. It is the first face-to-face meeting since February 2019.

Since then, the initial situation has changed: ISIS no longer controls any territories in Iraq or Syria. Mosul, which was declared the capital of the caliphate, has been liberated for almost four years. And yet the coalitionists in the fight against IS are concerned.

IS is expanding again

The terrorist militia lives on as an underground organization and carries out attacks. The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq plays into the hands of the terrorists. Because of the corona pandemic, the training of Iraqi security forces had also been interrupted. It is now running again – also with the support of the Bundeswehr. Around 250 soldiers are currently deployed in the fight against IS.

At their meeting in Rome, the representatives of the anti-IS coalition have to look at another phenomenon: IS is expanding. Two weeks ago, an offshoot of the terrorist group confessed to an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in which seven people were killed.

Increasing activity in Africa

ISIS is even more active in Africa: in Mozambique, Mali and Burkina Faso, the militia officers are spreading fear and terror under the IS black flag. In Nigeria they overtake Boko Haram. In Africa, south of the Sahara, ISIS can achieve maximum success with minimal effort, according to French terrorist Vincent Foucher in the British newspaper “The Guardian”.

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The IS procedure is the same as in Iraq and Syria: brutal violence against civilians and easy game against weak governments or poorly positioned security forces.

The anti-IS coalition has recognized the problem and at its last virtual meeting at the end of March agreed to support the African states in combating IS.

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