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From Iraq to Africa: the Western coalition to fight ISIS on
Material posted: Publication date: 22-07-2017
The Western coalition has summarized the confrontation with the Islamists in Iraq. After the liberation of Mosul, the military effort will focus on Syria and Africa, and the humanitarian — reconstruction of the liberated areas.

In Washington July 13, ended a three-day conference of the Global coalition to defeat "Islamic state" (IG, banned terrorist group). It was attended by special representatives of 72 countries.

They discussed issues of combating the financing of terrorism and foreign mercenaries, and stabilization programs are exempt from IG regions. On the opening day of the conference came the news of the complete liberation of the Iraqi Mosul from is militants. Two-million city was under the rule of the Islamists since June 2014, there's also their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a Caliphate. The operation to liberate Mosul was carried out by Iraqi and Kurdish forces with the support of the coalition from October 2016.

"Now we need to roll up our sleeves and continue the attack on the IG to complete its destruction," — said at the opening of the third day of the conference, the special representative of the President of the United States in the coalition Brett Mcguirk. According to him, the liberation of Mosul is an important milestone, but not the end of the war.

In the afternoon on Thursday the Iraqi channel Al Sumaria reported that one of the last significant enclaves of ISIS in Iraq, located near the town of tall afar, announced the creation of "an independent state". According to channel sources, the split within ISIS brought the news of the death of the leader of the group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In late June, analyst of Foreign Affairs magazine Colin Clark predicted a split in case if the death of al-Baghdadi will be confirmed. He explains that the figure of the Caliph is Central to the ideology of the Islamic state, and with the death of the leader of the Islamists "will experience some kind of identity crisis".

At the same time, notes Clark, various military experts have different opinions of "tactics of beheading," the targeted killings of leaders. Some, according to Clark, saying that the strategic plan is much more beneficial neutralization of the middle command. Others even claim that the destruction of the Supreme leaders is fraught with growing bitterness in the ranks of the militants.

Anyway, the U.S.-led coalition will now focus on the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, moving military attention against the Union IG groups in Africa. Therefore, in particular, Mcguirk announced to join the Alliance new members — Djibouti, Chad and Niger.

The plan for the day after tomorrow

Resuscitation liberated from ISIS areas, in fact, become the main theme of the conference. In the joint statement of the foreign Ministers of Germany and France, released Thursday, said about the need for "maximum mobilization" of the leadership of Iraq and its allies in the coalition for the early recovery of administrative management, reconstruction and stabilization of the liberated areas. "Only in this case, the achievement will remain for a long time", — assured the diplomat.

An important indicator for the management of the coalition — the number of returned refugees. In total, according to the UN, from January 2014 to June 2017 in Iraq has displaced 5.4 million people, of which more than 900 thousand in Mosul. Speaking last week in Baghdad, the special representative Mcguirk said that all territories are exempt for three years from the IG, has returned home to 1.9 million people, specifically in Mosul — 213 thousand

At the conference Mcguirk outlined further plans for the reconstruction of the liberated areas of Iraq: it is necessary to form local police to restore water supply, sanitation and electricity.

Turning to the allies on behalf of the administration of the President of the United States, Mcguirk said: from each of the coalition members is required to determine what contribution they are willing to make in the near future. "At this point, the United States suffered military 3/4 and 1/4 of the humanitarian costs within the coalition. We expect that this ratio should be maintained in the future," the diplomat said.

According to the latest Pentagon during the three years of the existence of the anti-terrorist coalition, from August 2014 to may 2017, the US has spent on military operations against ISIS $13.2 billion ($13 million per day). According to estimates RBC, during the first year of the military campaign HQs in Syria from September 2015 to September 2016, Russia spent about $1 billion, or about $3 million per day.

Iraqis in Baghdad celebrate victory over the militants (Photo: Karim Kadim / AP)

The money will then

Speaking about the humanitarian crisis, Mcguirk said that at the last conference with the support of the UN was agreed an additional aid package of $1.3 billion, which will go to the establishment of peace in Iraq but not in Syria. "The situation in Syria is more complicated than in Iraq. We do not see there credible political perspectives, allowing the Syrian people to determine their fate in the period after the reign of Bashar al — Assad," he added. Without such "credible prospects," said Mcguirk, no large-scale investments in the reconstruction of Syria until.

According to the UN experts by March 2017, the GDP of Syria fell to pre-war time more than doubled, to $24 billion Order to resolve the humanitarian crisis and return the economy to the level of 2011, the country needs at least $200 billion investment.

Prior to the change of the political situation in Syria, the West is ready to support reconstruction in the country, but on the local level, said Mcguirk. To help the liberated from ISIS areas Trust Fund reconstruction of Syria (SRTF) is organizing a fundraiser that brings hundreds of millions of dollars.

Under a "liberated zone" Mcguirk in most cases is a region in the North of Syria, captured from the IG squads "of the Democratic forces of Syria" (SDF) — armed groups, consisting of detachments of the Syrian Kurds and the Syrian opposition. Since the beginning of the operation "Wrath of the Euphrates" in November of 2016 they managed with the support of the coalition to release 10 thousand square kilometers along the Northern Bank of the river Euphrates, to take the strategically important dam, the Tabqa and Raqqa to completely surround the formal "capital" of ISIS. At the moment the siege of Raqqa is in the active phase.

Mcguirk on Thursday praised the results and reiterated that the West will support the government released SDF areas through the establishment of regional and city councils.

Qatar not everyone is happy

At the meeting of the coalition made themselves felt contradictions between some of its members. On the first day of the conference, the delegation of Egypt requested the deletion from the coalition of Qatar. According to Egyptian diplomats, the Emirate is funding ISIS, so can't be part of the anti-terrorist coalition.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson signed in Doha with the Qatari government Memorandum on the suppression of the financing of terrorism. Prior to that, the German Minister Sigmar Gabriel has agreed with Qatari authorities that the German security services will conduct an independent verification of the possible involvement of Qatar for funding ISIS.

On Tuesday, the foreign Ministers of the four Arab countries boycotting Qatar, issued a statement skeptical about the signing of the Memorandum between the US and the Emirate, pointing out that, according to them, Doha's support of the terrorist group.

At the moment, according to the coalition, Qatar is one of the largest donors to the reconstruction in the Middle East. The country has donated $1.6 billion for humanitarian assistance in Syria. In the budget of the office of the UN high Commissioner for refugees for 2017 the government of Qatar has made only $200 million, and private Qatari donors — almost $21 million.

George Makarenko


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