Intel: US urges anti-Islamic State coalition to step up financial contributions

al-monitor US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group Ministerial at the State Department in Washington, US, Nov. 14, 2019.  Photo by REUTERS/Yara Nardi.

Jun 4, 2020

The United States and Italy convened a virtual ministerial meeting with members of the defeat-Islamic State (IS) coalition to discuss progress on the campaign. During the meeting, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged member countries to pledge money to the coalition’s goal of more than $700 million in funding for 2020, while acknowledging the “enormous pressure” the coronavirus pandemic has placed on state budgets.

“The US is leading the investment in our shared mission by continuing its role as the military backbone of the [defeat IS] effort, and we’re sharing the financial burden of Iraq’s immediate recovery,” said Pompeo, adding, “Just last year, the United States pledged more than $100 million for the coalition’s main stabilization program for liberated areas.”

Why it matters: The coalition also released a joint communique that further stressed the need to allocate “adequate resources to sustain coalition and legitimate partner forces’ efforts against [IS] in Iraq and Syria, including stabilization support to liberated areas, to safeguard our collective security interests.”

Pompeo also called on members “to fund the secure and humane detention of the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters still in custody inside of Syria and in Iraq," urging them to “follow Italy’s example on repatriation and Germany’s example on holding [IS] fighters and facilitators accountable.”

Finally, the communique thanked Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for his address to the coalition and acknowledged “with deepest respect the extraordinary efforts and huge sacrifices made by Iraq against [IS],” while welcoming Baghdad’s new government.

What’s next: Washington and Baghdad are scheduled to convene a strategic dialogue later this month to hammer out the future US force posture in Iraq. The Iraqi parliament passed nonbinding legislation to expel US troops in January following President Donald Trump’s strike on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units leader Abu Madhi al-Muhandis.

Know more: Shelly Kittleson reports on Iraq’s new operation to root out IS sleeper cells near Kirkuk after an uptick in terrorist attacks.

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