PARIS, The threat from so-called Islamic State terrorist group has been severely curtailed in Syria and Iraq but pockets of IS fighters still hold territory there and vigilance is still needed to prevent any resurgency of the group or clandestine attacks, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday.
“It is not over,” the Foreign Minister told “LCI” television in an interview.
“There is still a territorial base (for IS) in the east and northeast of Syria, around five percent to 10 percent of the territory Daesh (IS) once held in all of Syria and Iraq.” Le Drian acknowledged that this was a sharply reduced area compared with the past but he warned “there are still terrorist fighters.” The Coalition fighting IS must “go all the way” and not be satisfied with ongoing progress by Syrian Democratic Forces who are fighting IS in the zone.
He further warned of the risk of IS units going underground and of “clandestine” groups carrying out terror attacks in Syria, but also in Iraq as has been seen in the capital, Baghdad and elsewhere. “But on terrorism, there is not only Daesh (IS), there is also a reappearance today of movements linked to Al-Qaeda … in particiular in Syria,” the minister remarked, waring that some fighters were moving between different groups in the region.
“So, the fight against terrorism is a long-term fight (which) requires international cooperation, requires vigilance both outside and also inside the country,” he said in the interview.
Source: Kuwait News Agency