VEDANT PATEL, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON
MARCH 23, 2023
Fourth Anniversary of the Global Coalition’s Territorial Defeat of Daesh/ISIS in Syria and Iraq
Four years ago, the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS and its local partners liberated the final stretch of territory controlled by Daesh/ISIS in Baghuz, Syria, a major milestone in the ongoing effort to ensure the terrorist group’s lasting defeat. The United States recognizes and commends the bravery and sacrifice of those who endured the hard-fought battles against Daesh/ISIS and continue to work to ensure it cannot resurge. In their honor and for the stability and security of the region, we continue to take the necessary steps to remove key Daesh/ISIS leaders from the battlefield, facilitate the repatriation and return of Daesh/ISIS fighters and associated family members, and stabilize liberated areas. This includes our military mission in Syria by, with, and through our local partners including the Syrian Democratic Forces, and our advise, assist, and enable role at the invitation of the Iraqi Security Forces, which remain firmly in the lead on countering Daesh/ISIS in Iraq. The mission of the Global Coalition in Iraq and Syria is not complete and requires the ongoing support of the international community. We continue to support and urge our partners to join us in provision of stabilization assistance including essential services, education, and livelihoods to encourage IDP returns and support youth rehabilitation programming to prevent Daesh/ISIS exploitation and recruitment of this vulnerable population in Iraq and Syria, as well as support for the secure and humane detention of the ten thousand ISIS fighters remaining in Syrian Democratic Forces custody. We also remain focused on urgently identifying and advancing solutions for the tens of thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, and third country nationals who remain in the al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps, many of whom are family members of Daesh/ISIS fighters.
The United States and Global Coalition members continue our cooperation to prevent Daesh/ISIS from preying upon and benefitting from the vulnerable populations in these camps, most of whom are innocent children. The repatriation and return of camp residents to their areas of origin or alternatively safe locations is the only durable, long-term solution to these challenges. The United States remains dedicated to this cause, leading by example through the repatriation of U.S. citizens. We stand ready to help other countries with the logistics of repatriation, and the sharing of our expertise to facilitate rehabilitation, reintegration, and, when appropriate, prosecution. While much work remains, we welcome the increased pace of repatriations in 2022. Over 3,000 foreign nationals were repatriated from northeast Syria, a total that equals the combined total from the three prior years. In particular, we commend the Government of Iraq for the repatriation of nearly 5,000 of its nationals from the al-Hol camp so far since 2021.
As we celebrate the territorial defeat of Daesh/ISIS, the United States remains firmly committed to working through the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS and its partners to ensure the terrorist group’s enduring defeat in the Middle East and its affiliates operating in Africa, Central Asia, and anywhere it seeks a foothold.