Syria: International forum addresses ongoing ideological threat of IS

Delegates of the 'International Forum on ISIS' discussed the latent ideological threat posed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) to Syria's north-east, in Amuda on Sunday. Hosted by the Rojava Center for Strategic Studies, the event brings together international experts and decision makers to discuss the post-IS management of the territory. The region remains afflicted... Еще by IS sleeper-cell attacks and continues to play host to thousands of detained IS militants and their families. The persistence of IS ideology despite the organisation's partial military defeat was highlighted by several attendees of the forum. «We can say that IS is finished militarily speaking, but we cannot say that IS is over ideologically ... if we want to bring IS generally to an end, there should be a treatment of the mentality of Jihadism, fascism, and terrorism that IS has,» said People's Protection Unit (YPG) spokesperson Nouri Mahmoud. Calls for political representation for the region at a central level were also voiced at the conference. Director of the Syrian Research Center in Paris, Khaled Eisa, called for «representation for this region which is 30 percent of Syria’s area [and to establish] fair representation within the central authority of the country.» Delegates also voiced concerns about Turkey's military influence in the area. «Unfortunately, we were hoping for good ties with the neighbouring Turkish state, ties of good neighbourly relations, but so far it occupies a part of the northern Syrian lands: Jarablus, Azaz, al-Bab, Afrin, and even in Idlib it has a wide control over the terror groups,» said Eisa. According to its organisers the forum, which runs from July 6-8, will feature guests including former French Foreign Minister and founder of Doctors Without Borders Bernard Kouchner; and Dominique Inchauspe, registrar of the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice at The Hague. A total of 125 guests from 15 countries across three continents are attending the forum.

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