US urges efforts to prevent Daesh resurgence, announces $150M aid

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for the safe return of Daesh's foreign fighters stranded in Iraq and Syria to their countries to prevent the terrorist group’s resurgence.

Washington and the 86 members of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh will continue to counter the group and the scourge of terrorism, Blinken said on Thursday during a meeting of the coalition, held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"While we have defeated Daesh/ISIS on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, we must stay focused to prevent a resurgence," he added.

The top diplomat warned that if Daesh militants and their families stay in displacement camps across the region, it may lead to the group's resurgence.

"This is a priority to reduce numbers in displacement camps across the region,” he added. Blinken said the US pledges $148.8 million to areas cleared of Daesh control in Syria and Iraq as part of new funding amounting to more than $600 million.

"This support will meet critical needs that Syrians and Iraqis themselves have identified, addressing vulnerabilities previously exploited by Daesh/ISIS, closing gaps in local needs, including for essential services, education, community reintegration, accountability for crimes," he said.

"Poor security and humanitarian conditions, lack of economic opportunity – these are the fuel for the kind of desperation on which Daesh/ISIS feeds and recruits. So we have to stay as committed to our stabilisation goals as we’ve been to our military campaign that resulted in the victory on the battlefield," he added.

Blinken also called on the international community to shore up efforts to combat terrorism in Afghanistan.

“We are monitoring the emergence of Daesh/ISIS's attempts to restart its activities in Afghanistan," he said.

The Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh was established in September 2014 to fight the terrorist group, which at its height controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq.