UPDATED 2:45 PM PT — Wednesday, July 22, 2020
The Islamic State, also known as Daesh, is expected to remain a global security threat for years to come. According to top U.S. commander in the Middle East Kenneth Ekman, ISIS is now shifting attention to small scale terror attacks around the world.
“Daesh will never be fully eradicated, but within Iraq and Syria, we’ve reduced their military strength,” he said.
Ekman added the U.S. and its allies have destroyed ISIS as a physical caliphate on the ground, but emphasized the insurgence is poised to continue.
The general went on to say ISIS is disorganized, but still deadly.
“The remnants of Daesh that remain, they’re largely ineffective. Daesh has been reduced to a low level insurgency. So what we do as a coalition is what we do working through our partners in Syria: seek them out wherever they seek sanctuary to eliminate them.” – Major General Kenneth Ekman, Deputy Commander with Operation Inherent Resolve
He noted ISIS militants are hiding in the rural regions of eastern Syria and parts of Iraq.
His remarks came amid efforts to ramp up operations against ISIS in Somalia. Seven members of the terror group were killed in two separate strikes in the Puntland province this week.
The U.S. Africa Command conducted 33 airstrikes against Al-Shabaab and ISIS in the first quarter of this year, which was up from nine strikes in the previous quarter.
According to U.S. intelligence, the Islamic State has relocated its operations to Africa after losing ground in the Middle East.
AFRICOM has said it’s committed to helping East African nations battle Islamic terror.