Syed Hameed Shaheen Alvi
US Secretary of State Mr Rex Tillerson says our coalition is united in stopping an IS resurgence, halting its global ambitions and discrediting its ideological narrative. And we’re ready to grow stronger and stay aggressive in this battle. This he stated in his recent far-sighted address to the anti-Is coalition comprising 123 countries of the world in Washington.
President Trump, in his recent address to the joint session of Congress, had made clear that it is the policy of the United States to demolish and destroy this barbaric terrorist organization. That is what we are going to do, Tillerson assured the attendees.
Many of us here today, he said, represent countries who know IS’s carnage firsthand. In fact, today marks one year since 32 innocent people were killed and 300 wounded in attacks in Brussels. The Belgian foreign minister is home commemorating this solemn day for his country, but we are grateful to have the ambassador from our ally, Belgium, joining us today.
In the same month as the attack in Brussels, a child was killed and 600 Iraqis were injured in an ISIS chemical weapons attack in Taza, just south of Kirkuk. ISIS has carried out horrific attacks in the streets of Paris and Istanbul, each planned from its headquarters in Raqqa. The United States has also experienced attacks inspired by ISIS on social media, a phenomena we are working to combat together and which will be a major point of discussion among us today, he asserted.
Tillerson reminded as we commemorate and mourn for the victims of ISIS’s hatred, let us also honor them with unwavering dedication to victory. The great commonality among we who have gathered today is a commitment to bringing down a global force of evil, and I emphasize the word “commitment.” The success of our mission depends on a continual devotion to our stated objective of defeating this terrorist organization.
He pointed out that in the run-up to this meeting, we identified over $2 billion in humanitarian, stabilization, and de-mining needs for liberated areas in Iraq and Syria for 2017. I’m pleased to announce that we have surpassed that total in dollar pledges. Let’s fulfil our pledges so we can quickly disburse the funds we need to carry out operations for the rest of the year.
Reflecting on the past year or so, we should be encouraged by the significant progress we as a coalition are making. In addition to the latest meaningful financial contributions, the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Syria and Iraq is down 90 percent over the past year. It is harder for terrorists to get in, and more importantly, harder for them to get out to threaten our homelands, he added.