Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren talks with Beyond The Levant on Operation Inherent Resolve and other questions pertaining to the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Before the interview, I’d like to personally thank Colonel Steve Warren and the Pentagon as well as all other American agencies and individuals dedicated to my safety.
The first question is when IS overran Mosul in 2014, being so close to Iran, and a hub for Sunnis trying to establish power over the Shia dominated security forces at that time. What were your thoughts? –
Col. Warren: I thought that the cruelty of this group will lead to much suffering of innocent civilians. I was right.
In the overall scheme of battling the Islamic State, how do you efficiently degrade the Caliphate without turning your back on the citizens living there who want to escape to a more freedom-based life with a mix of all religious sects? –
Col. Warren: We are fighting the so-called caliphate precisely so the citizens who live under their rule can have the chance to live a freedom based life with a mix of all religious groups.
Do you give any legitimacy to the titles bestowed upon the operatives that truly run the daily operations of the Islamic State? –
Col. Warren: No. These titles have no meaning. If they fight under the ISIS flag, we will find and defeat them, regardless of self-given titles.
If you had a chance to talk to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, what would you say to a man who proclaims to be a Caliph of the Islamic State? –
Col. Warren: I would say you are under arrest. Al-Baghdadi’s inhumane acts of violence have effected this region, and are playing out on a global scale. This Coalition is determined to end the spread of these ideologies.