Kerry says Turkey-Syria border nearly sealed off from DAESH

US Secretary of State John Kerry says coalition has almost full control over Turkey-Syria border, clearing it off from DAESH terrorists

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech during a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (not seen) after a group meeting against DAESH in Rome, Italy on February 2, 2016

United States Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that most of Turkey’s border region with Syria was sealed off from DAESH terrorists during an anti-DAESH coalition meeting in Italy.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Rome, Kerry informed that the US-led coalition, made up of 23 countries including Turkey, has conducted over 10,000 air strikes against DAESH in Syria and greatly impaired the terrorist group, ruining its financial mechanisms and oil refineries.

"Since coming together, we've launched almost 10,000 air strikes and killed more than 90 mid-level or high-level leaders of DAESH since last May. We are closing in on full control of the Syria-Turkey border," Kerry said.

"We are hammering DAESH’s heavy weapons, their training camps, their oil fields, supply routes, cache sites, infrastructure. Just last week we learned they had to cut pay to their fighters by 50 percent," he also said.

However Kerry warned that the terrorist group is threatening Libya and could seize the nation's oil wealth.

"We are still not at the victory that we want to achieve, and will achieve, in either Syria or Iraq and we have seen DAESH playing a game of metastasizing out to other countries, particularly Libya," Kerry said.

"That country has resources. The last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars of oil revenue," he added.

The United States is leading two different coalitions carrying out air strikes in Iraq and Syria that have targeted DAESH, but the terrorist group has been left greatly untouched in Libya.

Kerry also emphasised the necessity of a solution to the civil war in Syria saying that, "If you want to beat DAESH quickly, then get a negotiated deal to end the Syria war."

Meanwhile, defence ministers from the anti-DAESH group are due to meet in Brussels next week to discuss further options, while Kerry said he expected further consultations with allies at a security conference in Munich, Germany later this month.

TRTWorld and agencies