Theresa Mat: 'ISIS Fighters Could Slip Back Into Europe' - FOW 24 NEWS

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Theresa Mat: 'ISIS Fighters Could Slip Back Into Europe'

Islamic State fighters could slip back into Europe after waging war in the Middle East, Theresa May warns as she praises Saudi Arabia's efforts to tackle jihadis...
Theresa May has warned that Islamic State fighters could slip back into Europe as she became the first British Prime Minister to visit Iraq in almost a decade.

During the surprise trip to Baghdad, Mrs May said Britain would step up efforts to stop jihadists dispersing through the Middle East.

The Prime Minister then travelled to Saudi Arabia and met King Salman and his 32-year-old son, who now stands next in line for the throne.

Mrs May's trip to Saudi Arabia was for talks with the king and his heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the kingdom-led war in Yemen.

She is the second European leader to specifically seek out the crown prince as he amasses power.

May's visit was expected to include her asking Crown Prince Mohammed to allow humanitarian aid through Yemen's port of Hodeida, which is held by the Shiite rebels being targeted in the Saudi-led war. 

Mrs May was greeted on the runway by Faisal bin Bander Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh, who welcomed her to Saudi Arabia and escorted the Prime Minister to her meeting with King Salman.

Ahead of the meeting, she told reporters: ‘I am very concerned about the humanitarian crisis that has developed in Yemen, particularly most recently.

‘That is why one strong message I will be giving to Saudi Arabia is that we want to see Hodeida port opened for humanitarian and commercial access, that is important. The international community is concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia backs Yemen’s internationally recognised government against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and faces intense condemnation over its bombing and military action.

Earlier this month the Saudi-led coalition mounted a sea and air blockade in an effort to prevent supplies reaching Houthi rebels - but has since lifted some of the restrictions.

The country is dealing with the outbreak of cholera and the threat of famine.

Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, more than £3.3billion worth of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been licensed.

Mrs May has faced repeated calls to suspend arms sales following claims of breaches of international law in Yemen under the Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign.

In Baghdad, Mrs May stepped into a defence row as she repeatedly refused to guarantee that troop numbers would not be cut as she visited a base where British soldiers are stationed.
The Prime Minister, whose first visit to a war zone had been kept secret, touched down near Baghdad in an RAF Hercules from Jordan.

She addressed some of the 600 British troops helping train security forces in the country before holding a one-on-one meeting with Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi.

She said: 'Obviously we're working together to defeat Daesh and my visit comes at a critical moment as we see the Caliphate collapsing with the fall of Mosul and Raqqa.

'We want to ensure that Iraq can in the future provide that strong, stable and unified state that can provide the security, the jobs and opportunities that all Iraqis want and deserve.'

She added: 'We have seen significant military success against Daesh, but we must recognise that the threat remains. And we must obviously deal with the issue of potentially people from Daesh dispersing elsewhere.'

The last visit by a prime minister to Iraq was by Gordon Brown in 2008, shortly before the majority of troops left at the end of Britain's six-year occupation of the southern part of the country.

As Islamic State is squeezed out of the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, Mrs May committed to helping neighbouring countries stopping the flow of people, who could try to make their way towards Britain.

She announced £10million in funding over the next three years to help strengthen Iraq's counter-terrorism agencies.

The UK will work with partners across the region to develop stronger border controls, watch-lists and biometric capabilities.

Mrs May said this will help ensure foreign fighters are identified, stopped, and disrupted before they can harm people, and so we can manage the return of women and children.

She also pledged to continue her push for internet firms to remove terrorist content within two hours of it being uploaded and ultimately preventing it from going up in the first place.

The UK will also continue to support Iraqi security forces, including offering places at the country's military academies.

Mrs May said: 'Daesh's ability to spread propaganda at speed drew terrorists to Iraq and Syria from around the world, contributing to the death of many thousands of innocent people and the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure.

'Military success against Daesh means they are increasingly losing control of the territory, resources and population that allowed them to be a uniquely dangerous threat to Iraq, the region and Europe.

'But we have always expected that the threat Daesh posed would evolve. In response to our military success, Daesh has become more diffuse, organic and networked. The UK is committed not only to defeating Daesh militarily but also to countering the dispersal of foreign fighters from Iraq and Syria.'

However, Mrs May three times refused to guarantee that British troop numbers will not be reduced.

She said: 'We are talking about increasing the amount of money that is being spent on defence. We have given that commitment, we will maintain our Nato commitment of 2 per cent of GDP being spent on defence.

'What we are doing is looking at the threats that we face and the capabilities we need in order to be able to meet those threats.'

Theresa Mat: 'ISIS Fighters Could Slip Back Into Europe' Reviewed by FOW 24 News on November 30, 2017 Rating: 5 Islamic State fighters could slip back into Europe after waging war in the Middle East, Theresa May warns as she praises Saudi Arabia'...

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