By Andrea Shalal
BERLIN, Nov 17 – U.S. special envoy Brett McGurk said on Wednesday the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against Daesh would continue after President-elect Donald Trump takes power in January.
McGurk, U.S. President Barak Obama’s envoy in the campaign against the Sunni Islamist group, predicted a seamless transition of power to Trump despite the divisive U.S. presidential election campaign.
“One thing that really unites the Americans, that united both candidates in the presidential election campaign, and that unites the world is this fight against Daesh,” McGurk said.
“This is a threat against all of us,” he told Reuters before Thursday’s meeting in Berlin of officials from 29 of 60 countries in the coalition fighting Daesh.
The U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the group, which controls areas ofSyria and northwest Iraq. During his election campaign, Trump called for tougher military action to destroy the militants.
McGurk defended the Obama administration’s approach, and said six months of training for 50,000 Kurdish, Iraqi and other forces were paying off in the twin offensives against the Daesh strongholds of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.
He said the coalition had planned carefully to protect civilians and prepare for the displacement of up to 700,000 of Mosul’s estimated population of around a million people.
McGurk praised the efforts of Turkey to stop militants crossing its border to join the militants. The number of foreign fighters getting into Syria now was “negligible”, he said.
Law enforcement, intelligence, military and other experts from the U.S. government met their counterparts from other coalition members for eight hours in Berlin on Wednesday.