A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) on March 1, 2017, on the southern outskirts of Mosul. Ahmad Al-Rubaye—AFP/Getty Images
CAIRO – 3 August 2019: Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US State Department envoy to the international coalition fighting ISIS, asserted on Saturday that the terrorist organization remains a global threat despite losing its latest enclaves in Syria and Iraq.
Jeffery further warned about persistent violence by sleeper cells and an expansion of militants into new areas.
He also said ISIS terrorists are scattered around Syria and Iraq, where officials see a “persistent, resilient, rural terrorist level of violence” in that country.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ousted ISIS militants from the last stronghold of their self-declared caliphate earlier this year.
However, “the ISIS brand lives on around the world,” State Department counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales said as he joined Jeffrey to provide an update on the fight against the organization
“ISIS branches and networks now span the African continent from east to west and north to south,” Sales said. “They’ve increased the lethality of their attacks, they’ve expanded into new areas, and they’ve repeatedly targeted US interests.”
“Across the coalition, we need to prosecute Daesh leaders, fighters, financiers, and facilitators for the crimes they’ve committed,” Sales said.