Over the past few months, the counter-ISIL coalition and forces fighting on the ground in Syria and Iraq have dealt ISIL a series of defeats.
“We are taking ground back from the enemy and gaining openings,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in mid-January. “We are denying ISIL the ability to move fighters and materiel by cutting off key transit routes to, and between, Raqqa and Mosul. We are dismantling ISIL’s war-sustaining finances, targeting its oil production and its industrial base, and we’re using some new methods to hit ISIL in its wallet.”
Still, more needs to be done. ISIL has two centers – Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq - which act as ISIL’s military, political, economic, and ideological centers.
“It is absolutely necessary to defeat ISIL in its parent tumor in Syria and Iraq, and also to take necessary action wherever else in the world this evil organization metastasizes,” said Secretary of Defense Carter.
So, the counter-ISIL coalition is intensifying its campaign to collapse ISIL in Raqqa and in Mosul, and to sever the militants’ control of the surrounding areas.
But this effort cannot be shouldered just by the core members of the Global Coalition to counter-ISIL . “The lasting defeat of ISIL must be a global undertaking, because it’s a global threat. And any nation that cares about the safety of its people or the future of its civilization must know this – America will continue to lead the fight, but there can be no free riders,” said Defense Secretary Carter.
“That means that as we invest in the acceleration of the campaign, so must every one of our coalition partners and every nation in a position to help. That means greater military contributions, but it also means greater diplomatic, political, and economic engagement. It means development and reconstruction. It means actions at home and abroad to disrupt, dismantle and degrade ISIL’s capabilities. It means stepping up,” he said.
“ISIL must and will be dealt a lasting defeat, a lasting defeat in Syria and Iraq. The defeat must be lasting, so that similar extremism does not recur and emerge from the same places after the campaign.”