Has Daesh been defeated?

Since the Global Coalition against Daesh was created in 2014, the terrorist organization has lost most of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria. Thanks to the actions of the international community, its ability to plan attacks, attract foreign fighters and receive financing has been significantly impacted.

Although the combined efforts of the members of the Global Coalition against Daesh have helped free most of the Iraqi and Syrian populations under the group’s rule, Daesh still poses a serious threat to international security for the following reasons:

  • The continued presence of active clandestine cells in Syria and Iraq;
  • The presence of terrorist groups affiliated to Daesh in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and South-East Asia;
  • The spread of sophisticated propaganda calling for violence;
  • The possibility of the group’s resurgence through its exploitation of political weaknesses in regions in crisis.

What is Daesh?

Originally part of Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, the Daesh terrorist organization spread throughout Iraq (starting in 2006) and Syria, taking advantage of the chaos caused by the Syrian regime’s continued repression efforts from 2011 onwards. It then sought to export its terror-based system outside of the Levant (Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and South-East Asia).

Daesh members use barbarian practices (including decapitations, slavery and mass killings) that are a misuse of the religion they claim to practise.

In fact, most of Daesh’s victims are Muslims (both Shiite and Sunni), targeted by its policy of terror that does not spare women or children. Members of ethnic and religious minorities are systematically persecuted. In addition, the group has planned and organized several deadly attacks abroad, including those in Paris (November 2015), Brussels (March 2016) and London (March 2017).

Daesh has deliberately destroyed world heritage sites, as seen in its criminal actions at the ancient cities of Palmyra, Nimrud and Hatra, as well as the destruction of the Mosul Museum.

What has the Global Coalition against Daesh achieved?

The Global Coalition against Daesh was formed in September 2014 and has 79 members. It has waged a decisive combat to defeat the terrorist organization at several levels.

At the military level

At the military level, the Global Coalition has provided decisive support to local forces operating in the field to reduce Daesh’s presence in Iraq and Syria since September 2014. This support enabled Iraqi troops to declare that they had fully liberated all of their territory in December 2017. Operations carried out in Syria have led to almost all of the regions occupied by Daesh in the north-east of the country being recaptured.

As a result, in September 2018, the terrorist organization had lost almost all of the areas it controlled in Iraq and Syria, and final operations targeting the group’s remaining positions in Syria were underway.

Tangible successes – key dates :
  • January 2015: the city of Ayn al-Arab/Kobane (Syria) was recaptured
  • July 2017: the city of Mosul (Iraq) was recaptured
  • October 2017: Raqqa (Syria) was liberated
  • December 2017: Iraqi authorities announced that they had liberated all territories controlled by Daesh
  • 2018: Daesh controlled only 2% of the regions it controlled in 2014.

The organization remained holed up in several pockets of Syria.

At the financial level

Abolishing Daesh’s sources of financing is a priority for France and its international partners. France showed its commitment to encouraging enhanced international cooperation in this field by holding a conference in Paris in April 2018 attended by 70 States and 20 international organizations. In parallel, it has taken measures to fight against the illegal networks and trafficking (of oil, artworks and humans) used by Daesh to finance its activities.
To find out more: => “France’s international action against terrorism” article

At the ideological level

Since Daesh was created, it has placed emphasis on its ability to spread violent propaganda. Given the importance of fighting the terrorist group’s virtual presence, the Global Coalition has worked ceaselessly to identify, neutralize and remove jihadist content online. France is particularly active in the fight against using the Internet for terrorist purposes. For this reason, it is in constant dialogue with Internet companies to improve the quick detection and permanent removal of terrorist content online.

To find out more about France’s international action against terrorism