Monday, July 25, 2016

UNITED KINGDOM - Defense Secretary on Defeating ISIS

COMMENT:  We aware that is very hard, if not impossible, to completely defeat a movement based on any religion.  I expect the best the world can do is defeat the ISIS army.

"UK Defense Secretary:  We want to maintain momentum in defeating ISIS" PBS NewsHour 7/20/2016


SUMMARY:  For the next two days, defense chiefs and leaders from more than 30 countries are meeting in Washington to discuss the ongoing war on the Islamic State.  For more, Hari Sreenivasan talks with UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon about turmoil in Turkey, how Brexit affects NATO and the British role in the fight against ISIS.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Defense chiefs and other leaders from more than 30 countries are here in Washington for two days of meetings on the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The summit comes as ISIS loses territory in both countries, but the group and its followers lash out with terrorist strikes globally.

Meantime, there is continuing turmoil in Turkey, which borders both Syria and Iraq, after Friday's coup attempt.

For more on all of this, I spoke a short time ago with Michael Fallon, the United Kingdom's Defense Secretary.

Defense Secretary, welcome.

MICHAEL FALLON, United Kingdom Defense Secretary:  Thank you, Hari.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  First off, right now, we're hearing that the Turkish president has declared a state of emergency for another three months.  This comes in a week where there has been a significant purge of people who might have been in opposition to him.  Is Turkey still a reliable ally in NATO?

MICHAEL FALLON:  Well, yes, it's still a key ally in NATO.  It's a cornerstone of NATO.  It's very important in the southeast corner of NATO to have Turkey there as a longstanding member.

It has formidable armed forces.  And it's helping us fight ISIL as well in the Middle East.  So, Turkey is important.

Now, it's obviously concerning that there's been this coup.  And we're particularly concerned that Turkey keeps to the path of respecting human rights when it's dealing with the aftermath of the coup.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  And does what's happening now compromise your ability to fight ISIS together with Turkey?

MICHAEL FALLON:  Well, Turkey's made it clear that this doesn't affect their commitment to the fight against ISIL.  We want to seal that border with Syria to stem the flow of foreign fighters.

And they have every interest in not having ISIL flourish on their doorstep.

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