Significant progress made by US in fight against terror: HR McMaster

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster listens to a question during the daily press briefing at the White House, Thursday. (Source: AP Photo) Related News

The US has made “significant” progress in its fight against terror, National Security Advisor H R McMaster has said, underlining that President Donald Trump would reiterate key elements of his counter-terrorism policy during his visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

McMaster said it’s time to recognise that there’s been progress on three fronts — “first, denying terrorists safe havens and support bases; second, cutting off their funding; and third, discrediting their wicked ideology”.

“I think it’s time for us to recognise that there’s been significant progress on all three fronts,” McMaster said, noting that Trump articulated his counter-terrorism policy for the first time in a major policy speech in Riyadh early this year.

Raqqa (in Syria) and Mosul (in Iraq) have been liberated as the US has worked very hard with allies and partners to deny that safe haven and support bases, in this case to the Islamic State militant group, he said during a White House news conference here.

“Second, we should recognise that there’s been considerable progress on terrorist financing; as you saw (Treasury) Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin’s visit to the region last week, during which he opened the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center,” he said.

Trump will embark on a 12-day trip to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hawaii beginning today. “And then…a lot of leaders across the world, and the president foremost among them, discrediting this ideology jihadist ideology,” he said and praised the Saudi crown prince’s speech during which he called for a return to moderate Islam.

“At the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) 50th birthday party in Manila, the president will discuss how to strengthen partnerships across the Indo-Pacific to further efforts against transnational terrorist organisations,” McMaster said.

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