Daesh yet to suffer ‘enduring defeat,’ says US Secretary of State Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that “the end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS.” (Reuters)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Daesh yet to suffer ‘enduring defeat,’ says US Secretary of State Tillerson

KUWAIT: The end of major combat operations against Daesh does not mean the US and its allies have achieved an enduring defeat of the militant group, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.
Tillerson, speaking at a meeting in Kuwait of the US-led global coalition against Daesh, also said Washington had decided to provide an additional $200 million of aid to stabilize liberated areas in Syria.
“The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS,” he said, referring to the group using an acronym.
“ISIS remains a serious threat to the stability of the region, our homelands, and other parts of the globe.”
The hard-line militants, who lost all territory they held in Iraq and are on the cusp of defeat in Syria, are trying to gain territory in other countries where they are active, he said, adding that “History must not be allowed to repeat itself elsewhere.”
“In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is attempting to morph into an insurgency. In places like Afghanistan, the Philippines, Libya, West Africa, and others it is trying to carve out and secure safe havens.”
Tillerson said he was concerned over recent events in northwest Syria, where Turkey launched an assault last month on a US-allied Kurdish militia it considers a threat on its southern border, adding that he was keenly aware of Turkey’s “legitimate security concerns.”


Daesh releases six of 27 Druze hostages held in southern Syria: monitor

Updated 20 October 2018
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Daesh releases six of 27 Druze hostages held in southern Syria: monitor

  • Two women and four children were released by Daesh in the province of Sweida
  • Negotiations between the government’s Russian ally and the militants for the release of the captives had stalled

BEIRUT: The Daesh group has released six of 27 Druze hostages it seized during a deadly July attack in Syria’s Sweida province in exchange for a prisoner swap and ransom, a monitor said Saturday.
“Two women and four children from the province of Sweida were released last night,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor group, told AFP.
He added that the releases were the “first wave” and part of an agreement sealed with the Syrian government to exchange all the hostages for “60 Islamic State prisoners held by the regime and a ransom of $27 million.”
The Daesh group abducted around 30 people — mostly women and children — from Sweida in late July during the deadliest attack on Syria’s Druze community of the seven-year civil war.
During the coordinated assaults on July 25, Daesh waged a series of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings that left more than 250 people dead across the southwestern province, most of them civilians.
Sweida province is the heartland of the country’s Druze minority, which made up around three percent of Syria’s pre-war population — or around 700,000 people.
Daesh executed a 19-year-old male student among the captives in August and then a 25-year-old female captive in early October. The group said a 65-year-old female captive also died from illness.
Families of those kidnapped held protests to demand action by the Syrian government to free them.
Negotiations between the government’s Russian ally and the militants for the release of the captives had stalled.
Government forces have battled Daesh in the volcanic plateau of Tulul Al-Safa in the east of the province since the July attack.