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In Iraq and Syria, Looking Beyond ISIS


Children raise their hands, doing the “V Sign,' Intisar neighborhood (left side of Mosul), July 19, 2017.

The liberation of Mosul is a critical milestone in the global fight against ISIS.

The liberation of Mosul is a critical milestone in the global fight against ISIS. This victory, and every significant victory of the campaign, was achieved with the support of the 73-member nation Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and with Iraqi Security Forces.

But “the battle in Iraq is far from over,” said Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIS Brett McGurk:

“Iraqi Forces, with our support, will soon move to liberate remaining territories controlled by ISIS, including Tel Afar, Hawija, and Al-Qaim. We will support them in the military campaign and in what comes next at the humanitarian, stabilization, and governance levels.”

“This plan was a success in Mosul,” said Mr. McGurk. “On the political level, we worked to ensure full cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga – a level of cooperation we later saw on the ground.”

“On the humanitarian level, we planned with the United Nations and the Government of Iraq, for nearly 1 million displaced people from Mosul. Every single one of them,” said Mr. McGurk, “received assistance and aid.”

At the stabilization level, we planned to meet immediate needs, including police force, clearing land mines left by ISIS, restoring electricity, water, sewage, rubble removal, and work programs.

Syria will be far more complicated, because we do not have a government to work with there. Nonetheless, we will work with local populations from the areas freed of ISIS control to restore their communities and return the displaced to their homes.

“It’ll take a global network to defeat the ISIS network over the long term,” said Mr. McGurk.

“There is no question, however, that three years into this global effort we stand united, 73 members from around the globe in common purpose – the destruction of ISIS and the protection of our own citizens and homelands through our joint cooperation.”

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