ISIS threat remains despite Middle East demise
Major General Felix Gedney has warned that the fall of the two remaining ISIS strongholds in Syria will not mean that the danger of Islamist terrorism is over.
The deputy commander of the American led ‘Inherent Resolve’ mission said that, despite the impending offensives on the rebel enclave of Idlib and efforts to reclaim Hajin, violent jihad is far from over and threats of attacks remain potent in the region and beyond it to the west, including Britain.
He said: “We have caused huge damage to the leadership of ISIS and we have crushed much of it. But we have not destroyed Daesh totally and the terrorist threat remains in Syria, Iraq and our country. We need to remain committed to ensure that this organisation, an evil organisation, does not continue to inflict bloodshed and suffering.”
Major General Felix Gedney also acknowledged that foreign fighters seeking to return to the West, including the UK, continue to pose a grave danger, although the exact numbers of British citizens among the hundreds of foreign fighters who remain in Syria and Iraq remains unclear.
He said: “We don’t know the exact number from here; some who were UK citizens are no longer so because their citizenship has been revoked,” he said. “But they are present and it is obviously a problem. It is not for me to say how we deal with them, but we do need to deal with them, otherwise they would be after us again and try to carry out terrorist attacks.”