Morocco is a “critical partner” in countering violent extremism, said Monday US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul. “Morocco is a critical partner, one that shares U.S. interests and objectives in countering violent extremism and addressing not only in the Sahel but across Africa the conditions that give rise to Daesh’s expansion,” Stroul pointed out during an online briefing. “These are areas that we maintain focus on and we partner not only with our partners but with the State Department and others to address it on a daily basis,” the US official stressed. “There is also active consideration and planning with our partners in the Sahel for how we work together to address ISIS, or Daesh, in the Sahel,” Stroul added. “And those are constant areas of communication and work that the United States, again, seeks to achieve and maintain focus on by working with its critical allies and partners,” she said. For his part, US Major General Matthew McFarlane, the commanding general of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said that “since the beginning of this year in Iraq – so that’s January 1st through the first week of April – we’ve seen a – recorded a 68 percent reduction in attacks when compared to the same period last year.” In Syria, there was a 55 percent decrease during the same time from last year, he pointed out. This past Ramadan “has been one of the most peaceful in years thanks to the combined efforts of our partners,” the US military official added. In its latest Country Reports on Terrorism, the US State Department recalls that “the United States and Morocco have a long history of strong counterterrorism cooperation”. “The Government of Morocco continued its comprehensive strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and counter radicalization policies”, the document points out.
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