US commends Saudi pledge of $100 million to rebuild Syria’s northeast


Saudi Gazette

The United States of America has commended Saudi Arabia’s contribution of $100 million for stabilizing efforts being supported by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in the areas liberated from Daish in Syria.

A statement issued by the US Department of State said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had pledged such support when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted his counterparts at a meeting of Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Brussels on July 12. The Department of State spokeswoman thanked the generous support provided by the Saudi government, saying “we appreciate their fulfillment of this commitment.”

The statement said that this important contribution is seen as critical in the efforts to achieve re-stabilization of these areas and it comes at an important time of the international campaign as the regional control of Daesh (so-called IS) has declined to the last of 400 square miles, and some 150,000 displaced people have returned to the city of Raqqa, adding that the partners on the ground are restoring key services to the people of northeastern Syria.

The statement pointed out that a number of coalition partners have made pledges and contributions in recent months and the US appreciates all partners who supported this important effort, indicating that Saudi Arabia has been a leading partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from the very beginning. The US said the Kingdom is a founding partner of the coalition and it hosted the meeting that helped in establishing it in 2014, pointing out that the KSA has contributed since then in many ways, including air raids in Syria, and participated in leading of the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) , establishing the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal), receiving more than two million Syrian refugees and providing more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

“We greet the Saudi leadership and calling on all members of the Global Coalition, regional partners and allies to do their share in this effort, and that would help bringing greater stability and security to the region.”

The stabilization and early recovery programs are crucial in this process to ensure that the terrorist organization Daesh would not return to Syria once again for using it as a base to threaten the peoples of the region or plotting attacks against the international community. The coalition includes 77 partner countries.

Earlier on Friday, Saudi Arabia announced a contribution of $100 million to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, more specifically supporting stabilization projects in areas liberated from the terrorist group in northeast Syria. This is the largest contribution to the coalition to date for these areas in specific, and it is an implementation of the pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir during the Brussels conference.

The contribution would go towards a US-backed campaign to stabilize the one-time Daesh bastion and to help ensure the Daesh terrorists cannot re-emerge as a threat. “Riyadh’s contribution aims to support stabilization projects and will play a critical role in the coalition’s efforts to revitalize communities, such as Raqqa, that have been devastated by ISIS terrorists,” read a statement by the Saudi embassy in Washington.

It said the money would save lives, help facilitate the return of displaced Syrians, and help ensure that IS cannot reemerge to threaten Syria, its neighbors, or plan attacks against the international community.