US Envoy to Syria stresses importance of supporting SDF, solving Hawl Camp crisis

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – On Monday, US Special Envoy to Syria John Godfrey held a telephone briefing in which he stressed the importance of supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Godfrey explained during the briefing that the meeting’s agenda will focus on the continued fight against ISIS in Iraq in Syria, both militarily and in terms of regional stabilization, and the budget for 2021 for Iraq and Syria.

The secretary also mentioned increasing ISIS activity in Mozambique, where hundreds of ISIS militants stormed the town of Palma and killed dozens of people on Wednesday.

Godfrey described the Coalition’s campaign against ISIS as “a major success to date,” adding that “though ISIS remains a threat, the group’s capabilities have been significantly degraded” and that “millions of Iraqi and Syrian civilians have been able to return to their homes.”

He also stressed the continuity of the US partnership with the SDF, stating that the US continues “to support them in the Coalition’s fight against ISIS and the SDF continues to do great work in maintaining pressure against ISIS in the northeast part of the country.”

Commenting on the wave of violence in northeast Syria’s Hawl Camp that has left 47 people dead since the beginning of the year alone, Godfrey referred to Hawl Camp as “an international problem that requires an international solution,” and urged countries to both support humanitarian agencies providing aid to the camp and consider repatriating their citizens in the camp “in order to help relieve the burden on our local partners.”

The briefing came as a discussion of a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group, which will be co-hosted by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmes on Tuesday.

Prepared by Lucas Chapman