The Chief of Defense Staff of the Italian Army, General Claudio Graziano, has said that ISIS has been defeated militarily but has not been wiped out.
The terrorist group “hasn’t disappeared. It remains in disguise and has turned into a phenomenon that could be described as lava,” Graziano said in a televised interview during his visit to the Italian contingent operating as part of the anti-ISIS international coalition.
He praised Iraqi forces in their fight against ISIS, but said the international community should continue to train and support them.
“You can defeat terrorism geographically,” said the Italian general. Yet it “cannot be eliminated for good without the eradication of its main causes.”
His remarks came as Brussels-based Friends of Europe think tank organized its annual Policy Security Summit, which is the flagship event of its peace, security and defense program.
“Bringing together senior decision-makers with out-of-the-box movers and shakers, this occasion allows for in-depth and innovative discussions on today’s most pressing security and defense issues,” the organization says on its website.
The conference, which was launched in Brussels on Thursday, saw the attendance of more than 2,000 people from around the world.
The conference will allow "participants to take part in early bird-masterclasses to learn more about key conflicts and crises from high-level experts, including Elham Saudi, Director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya; Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska, Executive Director of the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research, Ukraine; and Zaina Erhaim, award-winning Syrian journalist,” the think-tank said in a statement.
“It is a unique opportunity to look at some of Europe’s biggest foreign policy challenges with a select group of stakeholders and seek to learn both from conflicts and crises and their resolution,” it added.
Friends of Europe, which was founded in 1999, says on its website that “it does not have an agenda other than making a contribution towards a better understanding of the challenges facing Europe, its citizens and the world.”