French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday warned that as the fight against Islamic State (IS) nears its end in Iraq and Syria, it will continue for years in other parts of the world.
“We have won in al-Raqqa against Islamic State, and I firmly believe that in the coming weeks and months we will be completely victorious in military terms in the Iraqi-Syrian theatre.
“But this fight will not end there, above all in many places, from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf, passing through South-East Asia and the Sahelo-Saharan region.
“There are many areas where this fight will remain for years to come,’’ Macron said, while addressing French forces at the Mina Zayed naval base in Abu Dhabi.
In October, Syrian Kurd-led forces, supported by the international U.S.-led alliance, captured Syria’s northern city of al-Raqqa, which was once the capital of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in the country.
Islamic State has lost more than 96 per cent of the territory that it once controlled in Iraq and Syria, according to the U.S-led coalition fighting the group.
“Our challenge now is to rebuild peace once we have won the war against barbarism,’’ Macron said, who visited the permanent French base Mina Zayed as part of his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates.
The base, established in 2009, hosts between 300 and 900 troops, sailors and airmen depending on rotations.
Macron said it represents a “sign of a France that keeps its commitments to its allies.’’