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Michael Fallon, MP and UK Secretary for Defence

02/07/2016 - 16:17 0
UK Defence Secretary: Islamic State Recruiting Fighters and Trading Oil Through Turkey

The United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Defence, MP Michael Fallon has said that Islamic State (Daesh) is trading oil and procuring fighters across the Turkish border.

The admission came after Labour MP for Enfield North in London, which has a large Kurdish population, asked the Secretary for Defence a question at the UK Parliament on 27 June.

Raising concerns in Parliament about the ongoing treatment of Kurdish civilians at the hands of IS in Syria, Ryan said:

“Kurdish forces and Kurdish civilians have been on the frontline against DAESH.

The situation in Manbij is another example of the incredible sacrifice the Kurdish people are making to take on and defeat these terrorists. If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for DAESH in Syria.

Therefore, it is vital that the UK, and our international partners, provides the humanitarian assistance required to all those already affected by the fighting and to help keep as many civilians as possible free from harm.”

Ryan went on to ask:

“Opposition activists and Kurdish officials have said that hundreds of Kurds are fleeing Manbij, and that the Syrian defence forces are engaged in clashes there with Daesh. If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for Daesh in Syria. Can the Secretary of State comment on the situation, and particularly that of the Kurdish civilians, who are being abducted in their hundreds?”

Michael Fallon MP, The Secretary of State for Defence replied, “They are, and that is why we need to bring this terrible conflict in Syria to an end. Progress is being made by the Syrian Democratic Forces in closing off what is called the Manbij pocket and breaking the supply line between Raqqa and the Turkish border, which restricts the ability of Daesh to trade oil illegally across the border or to recruit foreign fighters the other way. Progress is being made around Manbij, and I hope that one day, when Manbij is recaptured, those same forces can move on towards Raqqa itself."