Extremists from the Islamic State terror group still remain a threat, a report from the Inspector-Generals of the departments of Defence, State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) warned.
“ISIS [Islamic State] itself has not been eliminated,” the report said.
“If Iraq does not make progress, to provide security, economic opportunity and humanitarian relief, ISIS or other extremist groups could easily reemerge.”
UN Development Programme and the U.S. embassy officials expressed concern that delays in stabilising west Mosul and other areas taken from the Islamic State may exacerbate Sunni discontent and make those areas vulnerable again to extremist ideologies.
“ISIS and other extremists remain an insurgent threat in Iraq and Syria.
“To ensure ISIS does not resurface in areas from which it has been removed … Iraqi hold and counterterrorism forces must be able to counter insurgent activities without alienating local populations.”
However, the agencies said efforts to stabilise West Mosul and other areas have been slow because of catastrophic damage inflicted by the Islamic State and the military campaign to defeat it as well as because of limitations on funding of stabilisation efforts.