ISIL poses a significant threat to the UK and regional and international peace and security. In August 2014 the independent Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) increased the UK threat to SEVERE, meaning that an attack is highly likely. (see Written evidence from Foreign and Commonwealth Office (ISI0005)).
This reflected, among other factors, the threat ISIL poses to the UK and its interests. Counter-ISIL activity is now the driver for the majority of the UK’s international counter-terrorist effort, which spans the four pillars of the CONTEST strategy.
On Tuesday 12 January, the UK Foreign Affairs Committee holds its first evidence session on the fight against ISIL and the UK’s role in the international response.
The UK is a leading member of the Global Coalition of over 60 countries, from the Middle East and around the world, working to tackle ISIL. This Global Coalition has united to agree a common, multifaceted and long-term approach to degrade and defeat ISIL which was reiterated most recently in a joint statement released on 28 September 2015.
The Coalition works across five lines of effort: military action; countering ISIL financing; stopping foreign fighters; strategic communications; and the stabilisation of liberated areas. These efforts build on and complement substantial bilateral and pre-existing multilateral action to tackle foreign fighters, counter-extremism, terrorist financing and disrupt ISIL-linked terrorist plots and recruitment networks.
The Committee will examine the extent of the threat, including related challenges such as migration and sectarianism. The Foreign Affairs Committee is likely to discuss the impending launch of peace talks between the Syrian Government and opposition, for which the target date is 25 January. The Committee is also likely to discuss prospects for long-term political transition in Syria, and the implications for the fight against ISIL.
Watch live here on Tuesday 12 January 2015, at 2.45pm.