The US Defense Secretary said that the Orlando massacre, reportedly inspired by ISIS, underscores the great urgency needed to accelerate the military campaign against the terrorist group.
Ashton Carter called on US military partners to do more to defeat the group.
Press TV reports: The Pentagon chief reiterated that the threat of terrorism, specifically that of Daesh, is one of the top security challenges facing the United States.
“Last week’s tragic shooting in Orlando underscores the urgency,” Carter said Monday. “It reminds us that ISIL not only tyrannizes the populations where it arose in Iraq and Syria, but it also wants to spread its evil ideology, and to plot or inspire attacks on Americans, including here at home.”
“Orlando is a reminder that all nations must do more to defeat ISIL,” he said. “The sooner we deliver it a lasting defeat, the safer we’ll make our homelands and our people.”
Armed with assault weapons, an alleged Daesh sympathizer opened fire at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others, before he was shot dead by police.
The attack was believed to be the second mass shooting on US soil by a gunman who officials said pledged allegiance to Daesh. The other one was the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 people dead and 22 seriously injured.
Carter said recent US airstrikes have killed about 20 of the terror group’s “external operators,” who were believed to be “actively plotting to attack our friends and allies and America’s own men and women in uniform.”
The Pentagon chief did not specify what measures should be taken to speed up the campaign against Daesh. He will host his counterparts from 30 countries contributing to the US-led coalition next month in Washington “to plan and resource our next steps.”
Meanwhile the CIA chief has said that they have not been “able to uncover any link” between the Orlando killer Omar Mateen and ISIS
John Brennan told the Senate intelligence committee last week that the CIA had not found any evidence of a connection between Mateen and the Islamic State or any other extremist network.