“ISIL leaders cannot hide, and our message to them is simple: you are next”. This is the threat Barack Obama addressed to the leaders of the self-styled Caliphate after meeting with his National Security Council at the Pentagon. The president of the United States launches once again the fight to destroy the Islamic State and, recalling the many ”big fishes” of the Caliphate who have been killed – Al Baghdadi’s “envoy” in Libya and the jihadist “finance minister” -, he explains that now they are ” hitting the terrorists harder than ever, although progress needs to happen faster”.
Then follows a warning addressed to the Arab Countries, in which President Obama calls for their greater involvement in helping the international coalition: “The United States are doing more in this fight. The same is true for our allies, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy. And as everyone else should do”. An acknowledgment of the major support guaranteed by Paris, London, and Berlin on a military level, but also by Rome on the diplomatic front, especially for its leading role in solving the situation in Libya.
With this message on behalf of the White House, the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is now on his way towards the Middle East. His task consists in obtaining greater commitment from the Arab allies in the conflicts going on in Syria and Iraq. But also their more significant contribution to prevent further strengthening of ISIS’ position in Libya, the country which currently represents the biggest threat. At the same time, John Kerry has taken a flight to Moscow, where he will continue the dialog with Vladimir Putin. It should lead to the prompt implementation of the Vienna agreements, so as to put an end to the civil war in Syria and begin a phase of political transition everyone hopes for.
“ISIS has lost 40% of the areas which were once under its control in Iraq – Obama explained on television at the end of the briefing, to reassure Americans on the risks of possible attacks on the national soil -. “As we squeeze its heart, it will make it harder for ISIL to pump its terror and propaganda through the rest of the world”, he continued whereas pointing out that ”this continues to be a difficult fight”. ISIL hide behind civilians, using defenseless men, women and children as human shields. So even as we are relentless, we have to be smart, targeting ISIL surgically, with precision”.