28-01-2020 08:24 AM Jerusalem Timing

Carter: ISIL Militants in Northern Syria ’Aspire’ to Int’l Terror Plots

Carter: ISIL Militants in Northern Syria ’Aspire’ to Int’l Terror Plots

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday that ISIL Takfiri militants in the strategic northern Syria town of Manbij "aspire" to directing international terror plots.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday that ISIL Takfiri militants in the strategic northern Syria town of Manbij "aspire" to directing international terror plots.

Anti-ISIL fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of Kurds and Arabs, this week launched an offensive to capture Manbij.US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

The town is on the north-south axis between Jarablus, on the border with Turkey and controlled by ISIL terrorists, and Raqa, the Takfiri group's self-proclaimed capital in Syria.

Its capture has long been seen as key in stemming the flow of foreign militants into and out of Syria.

"There are people there, and I can't go into any details, who aspire to inspiring or even directing plots outside of Syria," Carter said at a news conference in Singapore, where he is attending a regional security summit.

"That, along with that fact that it is a transit hub for foreign fighter flows in both directions, is a reason why it is an important objective and we are pleased to work with local forces ... who basically want to take back their own territory from ISIL ... and they are making progress," he added.

Carter is in Singapore until Sunday for the Shangri-La Dialogue, a meeting of Asian security chiefs to discuss regional security.