Monday, June 28, 2021
Bundeswehr stays in Mali
Africa is becoming the focus of the fight against IS
The last bastion of the Islamic State fell in Syria two years ago. But the terrorist organization is still active, even in the Sahel zone. It was not until Friday that German UN soldiers were injured in an explosion. The international anti-IS coalition is now shifting its focus.
The United States and its allies want to continue their fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) undiminished, with a closer focus on Africa. At a meeting in Rome, the 83 states and international organizations of the anti-IS coalition made a joint statement that expressed their “deep concern” about the activities of the terrorists in the Sahel zone and in East African Mozambique. But the situation in Syria and Iraq also calls for “great vigilance and coordinated action”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the allies not to let up in the fight against ISIS. Significant successes have been achieved. “But there is still work to be done,” he said. Blinken pointed out that the terrorist militia in Iraq and Syria are still capable of major attacks. This was shown by an attack with 30 dead in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in January.
The anti-IS coalition has existed since 2014. In Rome, the USA pledged 436 million US dollars (about 365 million euros) in addition to humanitarian aid in Syria. After ten years of war, this added up to US aid payments to a total of $ 13.5 billion. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pointed out that Germany is making 200 million euros available this year for northern Syria, Iraq and the stabilization programs of the United Nations.
“The IS in Iraq and Syria has been pushed back, but not defeated, in other regions it is even gaining influence,” stressed Maas. The terrorists shouldn’t be allowed an inch in Africa either. Despite the attack on the Bundeswehr in Mali, the SPD politician spoke out against the withdrawal of German soldiers. “We have to realize that the region threatens to become a hub of international terrorism.” That is why it is necessary to continue to get involved there with other partners.
13 soldiers injured by car bomb
A suicide bomber attacked a patrol northeast of Gao city with a car bomb on Friday. 13 UN soldiers were injured, twelve Germans and one Belgian. According to the UN, the soldiers had secured the convoy of a Malian battalion. The US imposed sanctions on a leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Mali. The man named Ousmane Illiassou Djibo – also known as Petit Chapori – is believed to be partly responsible for attacks in the Ménaka region and neighboring Niger.
In the summer of 2014, IS seized control of large areas in northern Iraq. Shortly afterwards, the jihadists proclaimed a caliphate, which also included the regions they controlled in neighboring Syria, a civil war country. The anti-IS coalition was then founded under the leadership of the USA, which played a key role in defeating IS militarily by March 2019. Nevertheless, the terrorist militia is still active in both crisis countries.
The extremists can also be found in other regions. This also includes Afghanistan, Yemen and the Egyptian North Sinai. It is unclear to what extent the different offshoots are still controlled centrally. Since the death of IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in 2019 while US special forces were deployed in Syria, the leadership seems to have lost some of its influence. Little is known to the public about the new IS chief Abu Ibrahim al-Haschimi al-Kurashi.