tv Hearing on the Evolving Threat of ISIS CSPAN February 10, 2016 9:52pm-12:00am EST
and i'm here at marco rubio's pancake breakfast. i believe there's a candidate for everyone, and i'm really excited to find out who i like and who i'll vote for. ♪ >> the state department envoy says the us-led military campaign is a starting to see results a year into have after the u.s. seized the iraqi city. mcgurk talked to the chair committee. mr. royce: alright, this hearing will come to order. today we will hear from the administration's point man on its effort to combat isis. he is back before the committee again.
now, this is an issue that this committee has raised repeatedly since isis first began its attacks, and we began calling for airstrikes against isis. so, it has now been two years since president obama dismissed isis as the jv team. today the administration claims its goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy isis, but it still doesn't have a strategy to get that job done. the tide has not turned in terms of the growing influence of isis. instead, these fighters on the back of pickup trucks, to use the president's term, have grown into a global force. a force capable of striking in europe, in asia, in africa, and, yes, capable of striking here at home in the united states.
there are now, in terms of groups supporting isis, there are 50 isis-linked groups on the ground in 21 separate countries. and it is everywhere in cyberspace. and everywhere in cyberspace, it spews that deadly message to kill. ambassador mcgurk, just back from the front lines with syrian kurds, will note some encouraging developments. needed loosening of the rules of engagement am a isis controlled oil installations in syria have been finally boned -- bombed, which is good. but these gains have been's too slow to come. it draws recruits to plot new attacks abroad, including the
united states. meanwhile, the iraqi government haven't been able to deliver as it should. key to any success, do not trust baghdad as they have failed to include them in the government and the armed forces in a meaningful way. and across the region, the u.s. is perceived -- the perception there is we are only willing to back non-sunnis. this only empowers isis and militarily the size of the recently announced special operations force to target isis leadership is a fraction of what past efforts have entailed. onlyirstrikes are still averaging 23 a day, a fraction
of what a serious air campaign looks like. libya,failed state of where militants don't face a threat from the air, isis has doubled in size. these 6000 fighters are several hundred miles from europe. they have their sights on libya's oil, a tactic which made it the world's richest terrorist group, and despite years of warnings, the administration's response has been feeble. in afghanistan too, isis is spreading. only recently has the president lifted the rules of engagement that have prevented our troops from targeting this deadly group. last week, airstrikes finally destroyed a radio station there in afghanistan. what took so long? propaganda operations are
in overdrive, getting better every day. but our government's message to counter message remains in disarray. and when it comes to syria, tragically, the u.s. response has been downright shameful. the slaughter goes on. train and equip failed. in december, the u.s. joined to join a resolution that asuired humanitarian aid part of its plan for peace talks. but rather than stand firm and put pressure on russia to abide by this resolution, secretary pushed resolution to the table. the result is predictable failure. as syria has imploded over the
years, rather than tackle the problem, the obama and ministration -- obama administration has been paralyzed by a series of what t f's. bombing relentlessly u.s.-backed sunni opposition is critical to the fight against isis. just yesterday, general stewart warned that isis will attempt attacks on the u.s. homeland, in his words, in 2016. if we are to truly defeat isis, and we must, the half measures and the indecisiveness must stop. the member from new york for any comments he may have. >> thank you very much mr.
chairman, and to our witness, welcome to the foreign affairs committee. by youreen impressed service to our country, i want to thank you for. you have notched another remarkable achievement negotiating the release of prisoners held in iran. today we are glad to hear from you against the fight against isis and the threat the group poses. the way they are adapting to challenges and growing, the united states has spearheaded a coalition with the goal of destroying isis. different countries play different roles. stopping the flow of foreign fighters, stopping humanitarian support, stopping isis propaganda. this shared burden prevents the united states from being drawn
into another long war. we must defeat isis, but we cannot and should not do it alone. isis has lost a quarter of the populated territory they once held in iraq and syria. the reality across the region remains grim. syrians flee in droves. assad has been given another lifeline. inacks continue to kill them -- women and children. iraq has also had to rely on shiitemilitary -- loyal militias local -- loyal to iran. gains greaterran influence iraq.
region of thee a same grounds that led isis to thrive in the first place. same themes are playing out in libya and yemen. vacuum, in the a absence of real stability, rule of law, and effective government, isis will fill the void. focusing on long-running tensions in these countries will go a long way towards denying isis safe haven. can have a good discussion on how the united states should continue to respond to the threat. how can we suspend the growth of isis, how do we stay one step ahead. sometimes, unfortunately it seems as if we are halfheartedly going after isis, and half hired it heartedly helping the free syrian army and others on the ground. as you know for many years i have been calling on aiding the free syrian army. i believe when they -- we did
not aid them, they withered on the vine, and isis moved into the void. i hope that we will be part of a robust campaign. not a tentative one, not what it seems that we dragging ourselves in, but a robust campaign to destroy isis and get rid of a sad.-- as we need our arab and middle east partners on the ground, the kurds and others to help, but i think we have to help -- lead, and i think it is important to do that. i look forward to hearing from a witness on the questions and others. i am glad that congress is staying engaged in various ways. another step we can take is to push for a robust foreign affairs budget. the budget request to congress yesterday, i hope that we on this committee will make all of the needed investments to meet these challenges and all of the challenges abroad.
soon take upl authorization for the use of military force which gives the president what he needs to grapple with -- this threat without running the risk of another open-ended commitment of american forces in the middle east. for asking american service number is to risk their lives in the fight against isis, we should at the very least i believe you are job as well. thank you mr. mcgurk, and mr. chairman, i am back. -- i yield back. >> thank you, mr. angle. tos morning we are pleased be joined by the special presidential envoy, brett mcgurk. promoted by the global coalition to counter isil. prior to this, he served as the deputy assistant secretary of state or iraq and iran. valuablek has been a voice in the administration, pressing for a more robust u.s.
role, i appreciate that. without objection, the witnesses. air statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit statements, questions, and extraneous materials for the record. if you couldk summarize your remarks, ambassador. brett mcgurk: thank you mr. chairman, ranking member angle, members the committee. it is a real honor to be here. i first appeared before this committee in november of 2013 to talk about then what we know as al qaeda in iraq, and the emerging threats known as isil have been back another time since then. i deeply value the partnership with this committee, and i thank you we leadership on this pressing national security issue. i was in iraq when moz oh fell in the summer, the situation could not have been serious. baghdad was under threat, thousands were massacred. securityof the iraqi
forces, seven divisions, the situation seemed hopeless. we have to found -- building foundation to fight back. that required a new iraqi government, a better intelligence picture, and military strategy to strike isil and train local forces, .nd a political strategy we also have to recognize this is a global challenge like none we have seen before. at one point with more than 30,000 foreign fighters from a hundred 20 countries all around the world. -- 120 countries all around the world. we acted aggressively, and now we see results. the progress is clear, which i will discuss, the challenges to our interest remain acute. as director of national intelligence said yesterday ,isil remains quote the preeminent terrorist threat. had we analyzeisil, how do we make sense of it. that is really weak we can effectively defeated. we analyze it in three
categories first its core in iraq and syria, first -- second its networks around the world. , foreign finance, fighters and propaganda and third, affiliates, now of which there are eight. i will focus on the core, that is the key. it is the phone a self-proclaimed caliphate that they have proclaimed. it is attracting people from all around the world. let me start with facts. has lost 40% of their territory in iraq, more than 2% in syria. . it is not one a single battle since. may as you can see in the map that i have projected here, the green areas are areas in which in the summer of 2014 we have now retaken from isil. 40% of territory does not matter. what is important is that it is strategic ground. to create an ramadi -- to akrit and ramadi are the
examples. in syria, it is not just the data, it is what is on the map, the green taking away the entire border area which used to be controlled by daash. the border is now green because of what happened in the city of kobani. i traveled to their last week, i was brought to the site of where wherepped supplies president obama ordered an airdrop of military equipment and supplies at a key moment in never 2014 when the battle was going to be lost. i spoke with one of the commanders, he said without the airdrop they would have been overrun. it was from that airdrop in working with the forces on the ground they were able to defeat isil 6000 fighters lost their lives in kobani. they were able to take away the entire border from isil. it is a testament to the fighters on the ground and the many challenges ahead.
i was able to travel to syria because we have a presence on the ground there. there is no substitute. having a presence on the ground we gain better insight. with better insights we can act with more devastating effect. intelligentachshund -- our veteran intelligence picture makes us able to eliminate leaders. our heroic special operators did a raid in syria not long ago in which they kill someone. there they collected more information than any operation in their history. we learned more than we could imagine about isil financial network. from there we pulled intelligence from the state department and intelligence community to relentlessly operate their financial -- uproot their financial apparatus. isil is coming fighter salaries by about 50%. we are seeing the effect they are having on their oil
platforms and cash storage sites. let me go around the map briefly to bring you into the overall campaign and how we approach the court. i will start at number one, number one is a 98 kilometer stretch of border. it is the only stretch of border that isil controls with turkey. it is there a moaning -- remaining soul outlet to the world. we have worked with our turkish partners. they are doing a lot. patrols,increasing sharing intelligence, setting up risk analysis, and conducting cross-border artillery strike. this is having an impact. it is harder forisil fighters to get into syria now, and once they are in it is harder to get out. that is our objective, once they get in, they cannot get out. the impact is in the numbers from our intelligence exists in -- assessment. about 31.5 thousand foreign
fighters is andil, now it is down to 25,000. the site is starting to turn. we know from their own publications they are telling her fighters to not go to syria. there telling them to go to libya. that is because it is harder to go into syria. their headquarters remain. that is why we will work with our local partners -- a collection of arabs and kurds to push on rocca and isolate them there. i will move quickly in interest of time over to iraq. i will skip to number five in muslim -- moz osul. there is about one million people there. it is a politically diverse city. . we have to work hand in glove we met with iraqi leaders in baghdad and with the kurdish leadership including the prime
minister and others. we established a joint operational headquarters. tot is where we are going pool sunni fighters, iraqi , andity, with our advisors iraqi commanders to plan the liberation of mosul. it will be across multiple lines of effort. it will not be a d-day like campaign. we are cutting off the road access. we are already doing airstrikes. we are learning more about what they're doing and osul. the liberation campaign has already begun. however, it will be a difficult and -- endeavor. will not put a timeline when it will be liberated. but it will. i will go to number seven which is to create -- takrit. it was depopulated by isil. not only that, but they killed
5000 people in the summer of 2014. iraqi security forces with our help, liberated the city. most importantly, we are focused on what comes after that. coalition andhe an international stabilization fund we establish with the government iraq and i give the prime minister great credit in devolving powers to local leaders we have been able to return the population to takrit. the u.n. reported in rome last week that 98% of the citizens are back. i will go back to number eight on the map which is ramadi. that was the first to give against test for the iraqi forces since the collapse of 2014. this is an operation done entirely by the iraqi security forces and local sunni tribal life -- fighters. we have about 10,000 right now. i can discuss that in some detail. we have liberated look ramadi, but the city remains devastated. nearly every other home has iuds or is booby-trapped.
i met with the governor, he told us specifically what he needs. without getting the counter id teams in their 2-d wire all of these homes, it will delay the return of the population. something we are working on now quite aggressively. ira finally, mr. chairman, i can go through this map in some detail in my testimony, i want to point out number 11. that is where you see dark red. h isil, they will try to push into the soft underbelly of syria. dark rede small blotches heading towards jordan is something we are focused on. jordan is one of our closest partners. we are focused on their security. in october, the resident authorized latour assistance injured -- jordan. that includes a list hundred million dollars for border security to detect and a terror threat. i will be in jordan next week with a broad delegation including our overall commander
campaign andr isil talk about the threats and to make sure they protect their border. briefs a very, very summary of the most complicated situation imaginable. i look forward over the next two hours to answer all of your questions. i want to close were i began and thank this committee for the leadership you shown. i value this partnership. now we look to accelerate the campaign over the next year, i look forward to the close partnership i have had with you going forward. with that, i look forward to your questions. theriefly here, administration tasks a --asks about the partnerships. -- hezbollah and
d collapse, will we have any free syrian army partners left? the other concern i have in terms of the sunni population, as i understand the shiite led government in iraq is working to use the justice system to further push out the sunnis. if the central government in iraq is unwilling to make reforms needed in order to create a more inclusive government, and inclusive security forces, what will be left of iraq? effortll be left of this to include sunnis in our effort to put down isis. brett mcguirk: thank you. that is something we deal with every day. i will start with iraq. iraq just passed a budget through its counsel of representatives with a very
important provision, article 40 of its budget. it allocates already percent of what you call the popular mobilization force comes from provinces actively fighting isil. almost 30,000s sunni fighters enrolled in state security services to fight isil. we have almost 15,000. they are being paid. they are being paid about $680 to $750 a month. that might not sound like much to us, but the rural earning for an average worker is $36 a month. the private us or has put his money where his mouth is. it is reflected in the budget. he tells us every day he wants the local sunnis in the fight. we are helping. president obama made the decision to deploy u.s. such -- special horses to the air base east of ramadi. right in the heart between ramadi and falluja. out thered them immediately to get him back on
their feet and integrate sunni tribal fighters into the fight. that has been a success. our special services are elsewhere working with three tribes actively fighting. we are gaining capacity in iraq on the sunni tribal fighters site. in syria, mr. chairman, you hit me on the head. what is happening with a russian airstrikes is they are primarily focused on the opposition. what is happening with opposition forces we were working with to fight isil, if you look on this map, you can see the extent of isil's western advance. we were working to move east. that was a sophisticated in denver. as the russian -- sophisticated endeavor. as the russian airstrikes went on, it caused this problems. we tell the russians clearly, you say you are fighting isil, but what you are doing is having
a detrimental effect of the fight against isil. this remains a serious concern. , in was going to ask also addition to this job, you helped negotiate the release of the americans being held by iran. last you the families of these americans sat at this table. three of these tables are -- three of these families are overjoyed by your work, and of course we all want answers to mr. levinson's whereabouts. i'm concerned on the same debuts americans were released, the department sent i ran a check for another 1.7 billion on top of the 100 billion that was released at the time. i was going to ask what you know about the payment. i found in politics there are rarely coincidences. a state department spokesman said that iran raised this payment with you as part of the talks on the americans and
iranian the siege commander call this 1.7 billion ransom in his words. as you know, i have submitted to tell questions to the secretary of the which we are anxious to receive. brett mcguirk: this is a complex negotiation focused on prisoners. it was a parallel process. we had the air -- three areas of negotiations. there have been the tribunal process -- in that process over 30 years, almost 4700 private u.s. claims, every single private u.s. claim has been settled. all that is left is a few of these government to government claims. negotiation with our lawyers at the state department who have been doing this -- many for decades. i would be happy to discuss this in more detail. they were negotiating with
iranians on a number of issues. they came to important agreements on fossils, artwork, and also an opportunity open to settle this important issue having to do with a $400 million fms claim. the lawyers were able to close this out. that was important. they would be happy to talk to you about why this is in the interest of u.s. taxpayers, and the united states. we're facing substantial liability on this claim. we are at -- as i understand from the lawyers -- at the courthouse steps, there is going to be a judgment. it would have been potentially in the multiple billion dollars more than what we settled on. i think we have your questions, mr. chairman. i know we are looking forward to answering those. our attorneys working this every day will give you details. >> i think some of the details should have been shared during negotiations. let me raise this last point by
you, the new visa waiver law we have passed. we now have a situation where foreign fighters travel to libya to train. it would be possible under that law to categorize foreign nationals who travel to libya is qualified -- as qualified -- as not being qualified for visa pre-entry into the u.s.. i was wondering if you were involved in discussions with homeland security, or if the administration was on that problem. otherwise we may find some of the same challenges we found turkey, of syria, to europe, we had isis fighters who could have taken advantage of the visa waiver program. brett mcguirk: mr. chairman, i have not been involved in those discussions. i am very concerned about the situation in libya. >> i would like to get libya added to the list. thank you, i will go to mr.
ingle. ingle -- engel: in aot recent op-ed in the washington post, nicholas burns, who we know well and jim jeffrey concluded that relying on diplomacy alone will not be effective in syria. obamaid that i quote, the team would have to reconsider what it has rejected in the past. the creation of a saison in northern syria to protect civilians, along with a no-fly zone to enforce it,". a saison would allow for refugees to have a place to go, where they would not be under constant bombardment by russia or assad. seems a magnet for extremist, i no longer believe -- there rain only exacerbate
the refugee crisis, making the saison i believe more necessary. secretary, and theaters -- patterson said last year, i quote, there is no option on the table, no recommendation by the defense department does not require a massive amount of severe support -- of air support that would detract from the effort of isil. , under what circumstances with the administration consider supporting a no-fly zone? what are the challenges in establishing a flies in -- a no flies in? how has russian military impacted that? absent a saison, i don't know how innocent syrians protect themselves. brett mcguirk: it is something we look at all of the time. of internalnumber discussions about the possibility of establishing some sort of no-fly zone.
you should talk to -- speak with some of my colleagues about the details and difficulties of actually establishing it. .t has been fully looked at everyone would agree that the situation right now is totally unacceptable. i am leaving tonight for munich where we will have a meeting tomorrow with everybody in this national support group for syria. including saudi arabia, turkey, iran, russia, everybody around the table. there is a recognition that the situation is totally unacceptable. we are close -- were close in vienna not long ago to a cease-fire. we're going to work very hard over the few -- next few days to put in a -- in place a cease-fire. so long as this conflict is going on in the my job more difficult. the humanitarian consequences of this is just truly atrocious. we have to get to a way to deescalate this underlying conflict.
underlyingate the conflicts there has to be a political process that could ultimately lead to a transition in damascus. the struggle we face from time to time is that the collapse of the regime in damascus would open up a vacuum terror groups are able to fill. we want to have a political process that could lead to a transition. that is something that secretary .erry has been working on no one can underestimate difficulties. we are for progress on a cease-fire and most important liana humanitarian corridor. the russians claim they are cutting off weapons supply. there actually cutting off humanitarian corridors. at least they need to open up the human's hearing court or to all of the deceased areas the yuan has identified. u.n. has identified. >> not long ago we were saying assad has to go.
now we are kind of hedging our bets and saying, well, assad can go at the end of them, as long as assad understands he cannot part -- be part of a new syrian coalition, doesn't it seem like we keep backtracking? i think everybody looking at the serious situation recognizes the long as assad is in power there will never be a stable syria. too much as happened, the crimes against humanitarian -- humanity , everything he is responsible for, it is impossible. these conversations indiana, the russians understand. the iranians don't seem to understand. it is a fantasy to think the assad regime will be able to establish themselves of a syria. we have to find a way to have a political transition. it in a managed way through a political process that is not open further vacuums.
congressman,ely, power ifnot remain in we ever get out of this incredibly difficult situation. as i mentioned, discussed with the chairman, my job on fighting push we had progress to across the line, the russian airstrikes have told us forces to fight the regime. what russia is doing is directly enabling isil. that is one of the reasons we are getting together in munich tomorrow. this will be a very difficult three days coming up. we will be very firm. the situation is totally unacceptable. it is causing humanitarian catastrophe. it only fuels extremism on both sides. it fuels the hezbollah's, the isils. we have to come together, all of us and figure out a way to settle this conflict down. otherwise it will come to hot
all of us -- haunt all of us. >> i have been having discussions -- the chairman and i have been having discussions with some of our sunni, arab they expressed to us frustration at the united states not being more of a player that is deeply involved. we seem to be reluctant to be involved. the painted picture of the fact that they are ready to come forward if we come forward. if we lead. they are ready. --y describe a reluctant reluctance he on part of the united states to get involved. they say they believe that becauseoved into syria they knew that the u.s. was not moving and would not be able to do anything, or would not be willing to do anything against the russians. how do you answer that?
they paint a picture of reluctance on our part. of us not really bleeding. they would be willing to be with us, but we are council trent -- a council trent. brett mcguirk: we have u.s. forces on the ground in iraq and the area, we welcome our partners to join us in that denver -- endeavor. andave done damage to isil, we are looking for others to join us. that is so that is something where we have lead. secretary carter is meeting in brussels today with the defense ministers of the coalition. he's puttingings on members of the coalition, including members of the is il is a threat to you. isil is in audi arabia.
we want them to do more. partners toof the do more. this is a constant discussion that we have. our interests don't always align with many of our partners interest. this is natural and foreign friends.th our this is something that we're discussing constantly. i know the foreign minister was yesterday. he saw the secretary. we'll see him -- i know he saw a number of you. we'll see him in munich tomorrow approaches.ign our we try to get the focus on the threat and try to align our resources. when it comes to the regime, we processget a political on track. otherwise it is going to continue to go on. >> thank you.
ros-lehtinen. thank you. we're seeing the assad forces. the regime is on the brink of encircling the city in order to population with indiscriminately bombing areas. he testified for a question that for him in november. assad is a recruiting tool for isis. that it is not possible for us assad'st isis while massacres continue with iran and russia's help. what steps are the administration taking to prevent massacre of syria's remaining opposition. humanitariandrop supplies to the people of
aleppo? going toomething we're do? you've said to the chairman and ranking member that russia is a problem. does the administration intend to take any measure to stop syria'srom bombing civilians? how can we justify asking the itsan opposition to drop condition that the assad regime, iran cease committing these crimes against toanity as a condition continue the geneva talks? that answer.d to let me bring up two quick points. i wanted to ask you about the plans for the iraqi-jewish archiving. they stay in the united states? we have worked together with you. you've beenbecause engaged with this on the iraqi government. i don't want the state thesement to return precious artifacts and the and whatwish archives is the fate of the archives
runr the exhibit ends the at my alma mater. that iran has been jcpoa,atized through the received billions of dollars in sanctions through which they can rain of terror, what guarantees have you received from the iraqis? it up tobrought protect the residents of camp liberty from this newly strengthened and well funded regime in tehran. writtengive me a response on that. we will be providing aerial protection which is what the residents want now to the camp liberty residents? are we going to continue to pull in place or not? if you could ask the question we're doing to prevent a massacre and air top supplies and the role of russia? thank you, sir. you.cgurk: thank i want to thank you in
particular for your cooperation issues with the iraqi jewish archives. we're honored they are in your district. the iraq dav, i worked on it quite a bit. it is not my role. they are scheduled to run through the end of the year. let me take that back to the aate department to get you detailed answer. also on the mek. that's something i continue to follow. we've made progress in getting the folks out of iraq. i'll also get awe written answer on that. on the question of the humanitarian situation in syria, is completely unacceptable. the failure to provide humanitarian assistance is not only an international law obligation, it is anchored by the brand new security council resolution. this is something that we have open up the corridors period. first and foremost on the agenda get to munich is the
humanitarian issue. there are besieged communities. are besiegeddy isil, some of the regime, some extreme elements of the opposition. all of them should have humanitarian access. it is a principle of international law. to.s something we agreed it is part of the support group process. thes first and foremost on agenda in munich. i'm hoping we can come out of some agreements on that. >> thank you very much. thank you. david cicilline. mr. cicilline: i know it
50% of the energy supply and 50% of the revenues, a year sincellion 2014. who ist question is: purchasing the oil? you indicate there are 100 centralized management team as well 1,600 inundated personnel. are we doing to get to those individuals that are the terrorists organization? >> mr. mcgurk: thank you. isil's revenue is $500 million a year. $500 million from energy products. you know, it is purchased by a lot of middlemen. to tell exactly where it is going top the russian claims turkey is buying most of it. that's not true. of regime is buying a lot isil oil. it's sold to middlemen and goes to a third party. is hard to trace from isil to
the end user. revenuea significant stream that we're now significantly degrading. they are not able to do what do in theable to past. we had a big debate amongst ourselves about when to target truckucks because the drivers, most of them, are syrians.iraqi and what we did a very sophisticated we -- i won'tich say exactly how. we warned them if you are driving trucks here, your days going to be numbered. we were able to destroy about trucks in one shot with very collateral damage or civilian death. it has had a tremendous impact oilhe ability to move around. we're going to continue to do that. it is a fundamental priority of overall campaign, not just taking back territory, but sources.he revenue thel was able to target cash sites.
that's hundreds of millions of dollars. the mosul no longer exists. mr. cicilline: we've seen isis promote as well recruit. i'd like to hear a little bit and howat we're doing we're helping to counter the narrative. religious-based false argument, but an effective one. not something we can necessarily respond to. are there efforts underway so is responding aggressively in the same medium stem the flow of additional recruits and final at donori'll ask is conference i know there was of $1.2nt by germany billion. the same kindng of level of support from the arabia, uae, and kuwait.
this is a huge humanitarian unprecedented magnitude. what can we do to encourage to play ar countries more generous role in dealing with humanitarian crisis? mr. mcgurk: let me address the messages issue. isil -- we've looked at this in some details. they have three main messages campaigns. one is the glory of the themes of children eating ice cream cones and bring your family. a total lie, but it is a majority of the content. is a religious-based message. third which gets a lot of the gore.is that's the smallest number of their content. it at everying single level. hub.ve a 24/7 the uae. people from all around the region working 24/7
messages.the they've had a pretty good effect particularly with the campaign highlighted detectors in their own narratives and what ity told the world was like to be under the organization. i think we're making some progress now. closely with twitter and youtube. down 125,000 sites. it gets easier. if you are doing a messaging easier when the team is winning. in 2014 when it looked like isil march, they put out the videos of the flag going syria and to rome, they can't say that with any credibility anymore. messages now and spokesmen and most of his statements are the fact explaining why they are losing so much territory. it has changed quite a bit. to remain at it 24 will 7.e
there's a different message mess propaganda in east asia and europe. it's a different campaign there. 24/7.e to check that in terms of the arab saudis put in the $500 million in direct humanitarian at a critical iraq. in i'll never forget that being in the iraq. theas a critical need and money went to good use and saved an awful lot of lives. get to you the donations at the recent london donor conference. i think there was some pretty good contributions. have to come back to you details. mr. cicilline: thank you. i yield back. chairman: thank you. >> welcome again to the committee. thank you for your good work. ask you a couple of questions. while the administration's focus isis, how is that
impacting the growth? does the focus on isis risk allowing other groups to grow in strength and what is the plan to defeat it and other like-minded groups. let me ask -- you point out that coming from about 100 countries. i'm wondering if the flow back and forth and how many are u.s. years to date? if you have that number. about groups like haram, are terrorists making their way to isis and back again? flow there?no and you do talk -- i'm glad you degrading the global affiliates. example, with haram trulyoca nigerians how to do counterinsurgency on an order help make them more
effective? is on ay boko haram terror. i'd appreciate that. mcgurk: thank you. i would to two through your problems. focus, we can't take our al qaeda.the core to leader sports directly zawahiri. you would think most of them are under the banner because that's where they are going to survive. we have to unravel. when we see a threat, we target it. the group is something that we've talked about before. core al qaeda type external plotting cell which we eliminated. very focused. it is important for you to remind all of us it is not just isil. it is an acute threat to the united states. jump to boko haram and
the affiliates. affiliates are preexisting groups. anis not like they become isil affiliate. it is a problem that is unique to that part of the world to nigeria and we have to work with the local partners to combat it. asked them good questions about the betting standards and making sure we have a force that's able to it.at we're focused on that. the affiliates that we're most concerned about in libya, for example. in libya is where it wasn't a pre-existing movement. they rose to the flag of isil. ofve seen the direct flow resources of command and control, propaganda in to libya. right now in libya if we see a threat, we will not hesitate to act. ordered a strike on the number one leader of isil libya. he was eliminated. he was a former al qaeda and iraq guy from iraq.
that just shows the connections between isil core and libya. it is concerning. fightersr of foreign in the united states -- i think numbers.hose specific i don't want to give it to you off of the top of my head. i believe it is in the low hundreds. over this all problem. and they are doing a great job to protect the country against these threats. they will continue to do so. i'll follow up with you on the figures. out, the my time runs boko haram, is there any exchange between fighters? to fight? to syria this asabaab a part of --l in mr. mr. mcgurk: there's a symbolic relationship. they are unlikely to get out. going to kilonem in iraq
and syria. libya is an emerging threat. pouring up.s are mr. smith: thank you. you.hairman: thank gregory meeks of new york. you, mr.: thank chairman. let me start with this. i want to follow up with mr. cicilline said. arabia's about saudi thevities or asked about contributions on the humanitarian level. isis andng against isil or isil in syria, et cetera, i'm concerned about -- a lot of this is sunni, shiite, and what the arab states and sunnies in particular and saudi arabia may be doing on the thetary level and on ground. they sense out some jets and fightinghey are still or -- what are they doing and what are the contributions are levelaking on a military in regards to the fight?
and how does that play in? >> it is something that carter has discussed quite a bit publicly. brusselsussed in today. most of the states were with us in the early stages of the air campaign. right now jordan has -- they've renewed their airstrikes in syria which we're grateful for. the emirates are about to do that. saudi arabia has been focused on the conflict in yemen. we discussething with them quite a bit. we're constantly engaged with them about what the particular role can be. i don't want to get ahead of the process. that's something that secretary carter is discussing in some with the defense ministers in brussels today, mohammed from saudi arabia. fullyd the reason to be vested in the fight. it is not just military. it is also the humanitarian and stabilization side. in iraq now, as i mention, these cities haveunni
have been cleared of isil. now we want to return the theirtion to get back on feet. the eternally displaced in iraqi. sunnies.hem are and girls. are women they need help. on the humanitarian and side, that's something where the region -- we're hopeful can step up in a fairly aggressive way? because we have the programs in support of the iraqi government in place, u.n. programs in place to help people. issue of the resources. one thing that's really ispering this quite a bit just the collapsing price of oil which i can go in to some detail. facing a monthly -- $5 billion financing gap. they are producing more oil than they have. over four million barrels a day. working in iraq, that would have been unimaginable. decisionsause of the that the iraqi government has made and decisions that we've made with them. real testament to their
progress. the falling price of oil that has just greatly impacted their situation. it has depleted the resources we hoped to have with the humanitarian problem. that is something that the canon we are hopeful contribute. >> i was just surprised. troops,nited states put they would be behind us. i was wondering why it has to be something where if anybody is going to be on the ground it doesn't look like onre occupying anyone again coming in that regards. the sunni, especially in sunni territory, they and those from the arab league be the ones that are out front not the united states of america. when i heard that statement, i was wondering whether or not they have within further engaged militarily or not and whether they've shown about yemen is still a threat to them also. so whether they are willing to step up. thing to some regards with
turkey and what they may or may be doing. let me ask you that question. may not be beor doing? what about turkey? mcgurk: turkey was a part of the process and intense negotiation. them togreement with base our air base which has bereased the flying time to targets.trike isil we're grateful. turkey has also, as i mentioned, itsly worked to seal border. the 98 kilometer. thes much harder for foreign fighters to get in until then. turkey is also caring for 2.1 refugees from syria, spending almost $8 billion. turkey is doing an awful lot here. you know, militarily, they were doing some very important airstrikes in the country. right now we're boricking with
them to get them back in to the campaign. we're doing that very carefully. notconflict with -- conflict with the tension between turkey and russia after turkey shot town a russian plane after the plane violated the complicated the picture. that's something we're working closely with turkey on. we're comfortable with turkey. ally.re a critical nato mr. meeks: great. thank you. i'm out of time. rohrabacher: mr. of california. mr. rohrabacher: thank you for your service. you mentioned at the beginning of your testimony that sayoff left the world. was that the same in power 20 years ago or another? mcgurk: there was an individual that was a legacy in
iraq. very much from the iraq-syria that's right. ier. head finance mr. rohrabacher: okay. not the same. fightingpeople are assad? the number of fighters that are aleppo and- i guess that region. mcgurk: i can't put a .umber on aleppo the best uppermost estimate is about 70,000 fighters. that's all the bay from the the north. those are split in to hundreds groups.rent so bring coherence to that is very difficult. mr. roarbacker: is anyone
fighting isil? yes.cgurk: we were gaining some coherence and capacity. peeled offthey have to fight the regime, which has not been helpful. rohrabacher: let us just note this administration has told us before there will be no stability unless we get rid of so and so or so and so. true.posite has been in libya in particular which you a cooed today as being catastrophe we were cold in the same words there's never going get rid of until we gaddafi. let me note that i didn't see
assad has ever a threat. was assad ever a threat to the united states? mcgurk: it has given hezbollah and terror groups. he's a threat to our partners in region. >> if assad was never a threat. wetacked our president when had to get rid of saddam hussein. chaos and confusion that is in your lap to try to arrect started when we made mistake. we have to get rid of saddam hussein. he's a bad guy and committing atrocities against his people. i would think frankly from a distance it looks like assad is same type of -- fighting assad is the same type of
situation. me ask how many of the isil foreigners? areas meaning from other iraq. than syria and mr. mcgurk: total number of foreign fighters are above 30,000. many of them as i mentioned has -- decreased quite a bit. foreign fighters i'd put in the most recente estimates of 15,000 or so. mr. rohrabacher: how many of chechnya? from mr. mcgurk: a lot. mostly theking up fighters -- they were speaking russian russian -- rohrabacher: we have the thousands of radical islamic
terrorists fighters who come from russia and chechnya. the russians maybe have something maybe even more important for them to be be involvedn us to because they have had exact fighters from their country. i don't believe there are any americans over there with that terrorists group. let me just say the idea that turkish -- that you don't know -- that we don't know where and whoacks are going is purchasing the fuel is unacceptable. me say before the russians trucks,bombing those which is then ignited this before from turkey that they did this body and this committee saw evidence day after day after day of trucks loaded with fuel and supplies and money to wealth that would go in
isil. we're not touched. they were -- how much evidence do we have? overwhelming evidence that they thisat our -- that administration wasn't doing a thing about it. once the russians started, then we did. -- if ithat this idea could just correct the record since you raised the point. was the french started, it attack in after the paris that was attributable to isis forces. the decision to openhose targets on the highway. rohrabacher: let he note the russians were doing that. we haven't been able to ask. people who say aren't a threat to the united states of america and the terrorists network for around the world, we should be working
with anyone like that who is not a threat to us. whether they oppress their own people, i'm sorry. look what we did to saddam hussein and gaddafi. there's a number of places like this. our question shouldn't be how to spendingf assad and lots of attention and resources on that. our vision should be how do we isil and the radical islamicist who will terrorize the western world? very much. you.hairman: thank now to the chairman from west virginia. you.ank critique concur on the of the reckless foreign policy of bush. witht to associate myself those remarks. i will point out though that
some of the current critique, like libya, it would be fun to colleagueso of my who criticized president obama for not being more involved in libya at time. for being too reluctant or not taking the lead and being at the revolutionf the against gaddafi. facte're promoting the that stability was a victim as regime.the gaddafi that was then. this is now. ambassador. let me start with russia and one topics of myte friend from california. we thaterned are russia's airstrike in syria are non-isil focused? eitherve targeted deliberately or coincidently groups that we were hoping to use as part of the
assad.on against very.gurk: it is a human problem. >> would you say that louder? mr. mcgurk: it is a big problem. this is where we have to be honest. 70% of thetting airstrikes against the opposition. many of the groups are ready to fight isil. >> we have a situation where the activity in syria is directly in conflict with western goals. is that correct? would that be fair? mcgurk: you can't put in total back and white terms. mr. connolly: given the fact you said 70%. mcgurk: in strategic locations, their airlines have helped isil. mr. connolly: is the united states prepared to do something
that decides a diplomatic protest? to mcgurk: i think we have focus on the dip plotmatic process. we have to get together tomorrow in munich. we have to be thinking ahead if doesn't work. yes. all right. theink it was frederick great that say [inaudible] one need to be bold. hope diplomatic protests work. have russiaford to counter our activities which have been difficult and hard to field inether on the syria. it just seems to me we will need follow frederick the great's advice. tell me a little bit about the complications of working with the kurds? from my point of view and i
colleagues on my the committee, they are pro-americans. they are willing to fight on the that had territorial gain. the have beaten isil on battle field more than once. they are critical in looking at looming fights with respect to aleppo. withhey've got problems the central government and they've had other problems with our allies in the region like turkey. how complicated is the relationship and what ought to be the u.s. posture with respect to training, equipping, and financing? start on iraq.ll happen what used to under the governor ma lack lackey which has been difficult. ofry sing many shipment weapons and supplies have gone.
nothing has been held up. zero. notconnolly: they are paying the soldiers. mr. mcgurk: a lot of people in getting paid. what's happening now in terms of kurdsl allocation, the are exploiting their oil on their own and keeping the revenues. they are not getting the revenues from the south. equitable exclang. as i mentioned, iraq has focused single month now a $5 billion funding deficit. a problem writ large. for the kurdish, there's about a monthly gap. the salaries are about $50 million a month. this in a focus on holistic way in working with the imf, and i think the budget request will have some recommendations for how to help the iraqis here. we want to focus on it
holistically. the kurds will have what they need to be successful in the mosul campaign. no question about it. i'll see the president in munich. i'll look forward to seeing him. minister will be in munich. when i was in iraq, a senior the kurdishrom regional government was in baghdad. that relationship is very good. we want to keep it that way. north of iraqhe have a lot of political divisions that i encourage them try to find a way to resolve. was at theil wolf door, everybody was united. whencularly in the moment the iraqi kurdish -- they went through to fight. that i wasal moment a part of. receded,sil threat has all of them had opened up. between thesions north, and divisions in the
northern iraq. thisessage to them is fight is not over. the entire southern border is isil.lled by so long as that is the case, there's not going to be a stable there.on our advice is to unite against the threat against isil. differences,f the a lot of differences. meanwhile we have to help them with the financial difficulties. something i look forward to working with the committee to do. mr. connolly: i'm glad to hear that. i think that's essential. providing that financial support, because they are willing to fight. chairman. mr. mr. chairman: thank you. ted poe of texas. mr. poe: they are targeting christians. executed.been
and mosul jihadist stamped the homes of christians end for nazareth and to their to convert you die.inking or christian females were sold in slave markets. three of them were featured by "the new york times" magazine last summer. isis to beat the enslaved month nigeriatians girls in and the prices for selling them on the marketplace. said this is genocide. i mention these things to get your attention. that thees administration determine whether or not religious minorities like christians, shiite-muslims,
assadis suffer the specific by isis by march the 18th. can you give us insight on the united states will take the position on what isis does against religious and if it is genocide or not? you,cgurk: thank congressman. we're focused on that request as our lawyers are deeply -- i said, genocide is a specific term. it is a legal determination. we're looking at it, i believe, across the board. there's no question everything that you said is true and more. what isil has done to the and ton community minority communities throughout isticularly iraq and syria unbelievable. then on top of it destroying our culture andage and ancient history. this is why we have to destroy organization.
period. is returnnt to do christians to the homeland. that's something we're very focused on. we interveal with the archbishop. to see the patriarch to try to return the christian communities to their homes. one thing that drives us all, in fact particularly for the the northern providence near mosul, is to help us do that. of theireen driven out homes in the most atrocious manner possible. get themo work to back. in sinjar, they liberated them isil. very successful operation. sinjar is where they came in and enslaved thousands and killing many of the young men and taking women, thousands of them are enslave the women. have to destroy terroristsc
organization. it is something that lawyers are working on right now. poe: do you see why the administration won't be able to comply with the verdict? mr. mcgurk: no. we'll meet the deadline, i think. poe: i have the omnibus in a strategyput that requires to defeat isis. passed in to law there would be a strategy of what we're going to do to defeat isil 18th.e or as i think there's no real concrete strategy to defeat not contain but defeat isis. deadline.is the do you see any reason why we thet be able to get strategy? mcgurk: we're going to receive gait the network.
is an anaconda strategy. its ability to control the territory. and syria, we're working to take away the territory. ande looking to cut off slice the foreign terrorist. strategy we'll have a that's concrete. the train and equip, that was a disaster. and the president even said that was a disaster. i'm not going to be argumentative. have a concrete strategy so and bubbaan public knows what the united states is isis?to do to defeat do you see why we won't have any writing for the american people by june 18th? mcgurk: we have a strategy now. working? is it not that's my question. the same thing or a concrete
we'llgy and something understand and defeat. we go after the oil fields and trucks. seems like that tactic. thatcgurk: the things haven't worked we have adjusted. with you on more details. mr. poe: we'll see the strategy by june 18th. yield back. asking you they were africa.ko haram and beenf the things that have frustrating is when we think of have theirowing they rain of terror that has continued every day and at the of last year killed more
than isis did. i'm concerned, especially with , thes happening in libya deterioration of libya and led to then it cooling mollly. i'm wondering what you are especially with isis involvement in occupation in libya. what do you think and see the fallout being in other countries? mention, libya i remains a focus. it is a preexisting terrorists problem. that they have raised an isil flag doesn't change the problem. the isil in libya is different. in libya what we're working hard -- one of my colleagues a special envoy for libya, weiner, we were just in rome together for the coalition meeting on isil. we worked to form the government
unityional accord and the government in libya. the u.n. special enjoy is also a close friend of mine. worked with him for years in iraq. he's been working day and night to get to done. we have to have that. need a foundational partner. i mention the summer of 2014. theas very important to get new iraqi government. they had just had an election. it was going through the process. how did we come in to iraq in a major way before we had a government and foundational partner, it would have been hard to build the coherence that we to push back effectively and aggressively. so the sequencing in libya is to try to get the national government formed and in to work with it to come up with a begin to combat libya. i will say that it takes sometime. we see threats emerging to the own national security interest. has shown he will take military action in libya. the overalle killed leader.
those sorts of things will continue to be ongoing. political and military is quite intertwined. representative bass: while i understandhat, the importance of that, are you seeing any involvement in terms the isil folks moving south or weapons? we're working to stabilize the government and i absolutely understand that. mr. mcgurk: what i've seen is libya.w north to they try -- they seem to be -- libya doing what they did in syria and establishing the thectures and insert on central coast. you can see training camps popping up. the are trying to establish state-like structure. magazine andthe their own open source magazine
says, you know, come to libya. to flow theing resources to libya. if they can establish themselves rooted way and get rooted, then the risk will be if it flows outward. to try to make sure they can't do that. back totative bass: boko haram. i understand it was preexisting and the significance of them the flag if it was more symbolic. are they getting any resources fromy financial resources isil or just symbolic? mcgurk: i think the media coordination. haveof the media products been more sophisticated. not the type of direct weapons flow and finance because they were already a self-contained entity. have to work with nigerians to get at the problem period. themselvesy call isil, it doesn't matter. problem.undamental representative bass: the
attacks that took place in molly, what do you know of that relationshiphe the to al qaeda? mcgurk: we don't want to paint with too sharp of a brush. qaeda attack, not isil. it doesn't matter if isil or al qaeda is attacking hotels. the french have taken a major league on the molly side. they have degraded the network. it is still able to launch attacks like that. >> thank you. >> mr. cook of california. >> representative cook: thank you for being here. i don't enjoy your job. very, very difficult. your sense of optimism about syria with the russians supporting them. it is going to be tough.
picking up on the question on the turks and kurds. is there any hope for a separate the kurdish team? i don't think geography favors it. kurds soappointed the many times. after all their fighting and everything else particularly with the pressure with the kurds, i just don't -- i think we're going betray them again. can you comment on that? mr. mcgurk: the kurd the -- dealt with my friends for almost a decade now. you are right, there's a historical memory of what happened to the kurds after world war i. this is something we have to recognize and be sympathetic to. scurreds in northern syria aat we've developed in thenship with counterisil campaign.
they have the same and similar historical narrative, however at creatingnt in time new, independent states, is not something that would be stabilizing. when it comes to the northern befored as i mentioned something of that can be discussed, you have to get isil of it the southern border is all jihads on the entire southern border. the economic situation has to stabilize. third the political situation has to stabilize. the kurds ofhink northern iraq recognize this. trying to do the impossible in create a unified glowingt is a democracy. a federal iraq which is gained in the constitution and empowers leaders and empowers the sunnies and providences and the kurds and it is something that realistic is something wed
support. mr. cook: thank you. just got question is i back from the middle east. things, do they help flyingots eight hours down there? i don't know how they do it. i really don't. is in the past the kurds -- excuse me the turks well, we'll call -- we'll control all of the air operations on influence. i just hope that doesn't go back was a year or two years ago where they had the air opstrol of and what was going o. in i know military question. very, very nervous about the and how that affects that particular base. i'm not sure sometimes why we have this here other than is close.
mr. mcgurk: that's a question military colleagues. i've been there. the agreement is that those planes fly within the air coalition of the counterisil campaign. which is coordinated out of qatar. air taskingere's an which goes out. those planes are integrated with that. it is part of the overall cohesive campaign. representative cook: i just got back. i'm nervous about the politics of turkey. that i had wason about saudi and the gulf states. sometimes we're lead to believe their number one focus is isil. no. the impression i had is it is about the war in yemen. their forces and everything else. yeah, yeah, we're committed to that. the states that i talked to it is all about what's going on particularly the influence of the saudis in
leading that coalition there. that?you comment on mr. mcgurk: you are right. yemen is a primary focus. have a different riyadh and abuom home -- this is not homogeneous. representative cook: they've been a focus. it is right on their border. i understand. mr. mcgurk: we consider isil most fundamental threat. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. higgins. higgins: thank you. isil has proven to be effective fundraising. estimates they were raising about $3 million a day. revenuesy through oil and then through territorial
could tax theey people and provided services and tax and provide protection and a corruptoperating society where by they could gain of revenue. known about isis funding from the sunni-arab particularly saudi arabia who i think views the threat to them iranian territorial gains in iraq clearly with the direct in syria under a government which is a very anti-shiite. my question is: saudi arabian helping to finance terrorists activity? mr. mcgurk: we don't see any indications of that. saudis have been close partners for sometime.
what makes them different is they don't really rely on outside financing and funding. when there was some evidence of that, we have worked with kuwait and others who have shut that down. our colleagues -- my colleagues the treasury department have done a great job on that. makes isil different because as you said, it controls territories and millions of people under its control, and it acts through thes and extortion to have revenue base. to cut at the finance streams yearsarly on a couple of ago, we must have said there would be a lot of outside funding. generated.ly that's why we are -- it is true. in thisch were led after arrest. we helped them. toting off their ability move oil and cutting off their ability to move energy supplies cashheir ability to store which is something we've done in mosul. to cut off the finances, you the core ins on iraq and syria where it is
controlling territory and resources. many airstrikes in the last year? is about 10,000 nows. as of yesterday to be specific. the u.s. has conducted more than 7,000 of those. coalition about 2,300. theesentative higgins: in past year isis has lost 10% of 10% of then iraq and gains in syria? mr. mcgurk: yeah. representative higgins: the one thing that's can assistant in michael weiss' book, and "the black flag" the one thing constant about isis is change.
evolved its reach and organizational ability. the isis presence in libya, i think, is particularly disturbing. stronghold inl north africa. africa is -- there's a lot of to exploit. you've got 55 countries. many of which are very, very to --le from south sudan just there's a lot of countries. concern is that while we may be influencing a loss of territorial control in iraq and the isisat about expanding in to other countries and the continent of africa. is a great it question. as we analyze this and discuss
it with intelligence servicing all of governments and the different capitols around the world, the common theme that i mean i've heard this from malaysia to brussels the gulf is that this notion so many youngwing dangerousthis movement. that's why we're focused on the overall shh ringing the territory. in the narrative, it was one of the expansion and conquest. to show you are not expanding, you are shrinking. not going to live the glorious life of ice cream cones. you are going to die a miserable death. some of the people want to go die a miserable death. we're happy to oblige them. shrink the phony notion in order to dry up the global network. won'toes not mean there be a global jihadist terrorism
problem under different banners. something that's going to be with us for sometime. thank you. >> thank you. desantis. representative desantis: you be a problem.ld i agree with that. to iransn't a reference effect ofah with the the destabilizing role they play in iraq and syria. they've murdered sunni civilians and assad drives people -- sunni-arabs between the militant and shiite force or government isis. by iran and many of them are driven to i circumstances accident. iran to theusion of problem deliberate or was that omitted? that you mr. mcgurk: no. certainly not. directly.e it on
when mosul fell in the summer of 2014, they issued saying and protectse up the country. it was a really commit call moment. i thinknot done that, it would have been very hard to check. they were on the rampage. cause the massive panic. you had about 80,000 volunteers to join the ranks of iraq. them are shiite from the south. there's a segment of them, you maybe ten to 15,000 who are actually answered to militias better controlled by iran. this is a huge concern for us and the government of iraq. is a huge concern for prime minister. issaid that if iran operating outside of the soil, it would be a hostile act. see abuses and violations of human rights, the
government of iraq has acted. just recently there were reports in the providence. it's always been a hot bed on both sides. the prime minister went to the sight twice. they've arrested nine of the individuals. this a serious problem. all oft want to paint the volunteers, many of them are shiite, the same brush. that wouldn't be true. desantis: they have touted some of the places -- places like ramadi. empower you doing to the sunni tribal forces and the elders?ibal
isilems to me that driving out of ramadi is desirable, but happyren't going to be living under forces dominated by iran and shiite, that's going to be a tough sell. mr. mcgurk: i very much agree you. when it come to ramadi, it was makeovernment of iraq to sure it was conducted by the iraqi security forces and local sunnirism and tribal fighters. theysentative desantis: were integrated with them? mr. mcgurk: they were integrated. it was not part of the campaign. that was very important. so important. territory.heir
effort.onstant we have full support from the governor of the providence in anbar. they are working closely with us. two platforms. we're working every day with the forces and the tribal fighters to get them in the fight. they are making real gains. on defense. just now they are move on offense and doing operations. right way.g the >> just a final question will be with respect to the kurds. my colleagues i share their view. i think they are pro-american forces. we should be supporting. not accept the actions of a lot of the kurds. there's problems there. of our nato partners essentially opposes some of the battlefield allies.
can you address the convict turkey and some of the kurdish fighters? mcgurk: let me say turkey pkk. a threat from the we have to recognize that. the conflict between turkey and the pkk which flared up and began and run the timeline when turkishled a number of police officers. i've been clear about that. turkey has the right to respond self-defense. at the same time, the conflict has escalated to the point where to try to work very hard to deescalate it. president discussed this last week. the more it is going on, the more it drives people to the ranks of the extreme militarism. we want to protect turkey the pkk. that's something we're going to them do.to help we want to strengthen the kurds. are joined a conglomeration
christiansabs and under the banner of the syrian democratic forces. they put out a political platform. clear they want to be part of syria. it makes clear they want to have positive relations with their neighbors. they don't want to interfere in the relations. distances with the pkk. work inl remain a progress. it is something we're going to work on every day. we will continue to work with itself againstct pkk militarism which is killingy dangerous and turkish soldiers and police officers every day. mr. thank you, sir. now mr. sherman of california. representative sherman: i know visa waiver program was mentioned earlier. those who visit libya. it is not a right that we extend europeans. in reducing it. we don't provide the waivers to
people from brazil. -- brazil, etling et cetera. a visa waiverave system. those who visited syria and iraq have a stamp on their passport. they don't have a stamp from iraq. they have a stamp on their passport for turkey. we ought to look at whether we should provide the visa waiver. we have to look at the european sure they don't give a new passport to somebody on doesn't like the stamps their old passport without saying it did have a stamp from or turkey.aq we have to look at the idea. a newg as they can get passport that does not and have
visa waiver without letting us visited turkey and syria or iraq. i want to focus on the questions. we were serious. had a strategic bombing theram designed to destroy economic capacity of europe. i believe we killed 90,000 french civilians. we were sensor in the war. we won the war. they never paid french civil servants. they did not arraign to provide food and fuel to those living in a nazi exploded occupied france. iraqi government has told us they finally stopped paying the servants in the areas.cupied
is that true? servants who live in isis occupied territory able to leave and get their money and drive back to mosul or finally stopped paying isis? who are taxed by or don't you know? mr. mcgurk: no, i've worked on this quite a bit. the iraqi government made a thesion passed through summer summer -- representative sherman: i have limited time. do they? down, cany drives they pick up the money? they are living in mosul, they shouldn't be able
to do that. representative sherman: check on that. i'm told they can. facilities.e thewe willing to bomb transmission line through which flows?e electricity themcgurk: the problem is mosul dam. representative sherman: keep it runs. a sophisticated question. it is a sophisticated political question. send the have to electricity. don't tell me the dam breaks if you don't send electricity to the energy. mr. mcgurk: by keeping the dam running --
representative sherman: want dam should be running. we don't want electricity -- linesb the transmission right outside -- inside or outside of isis controlled territory. >> is that consistent with the approach that we took in world were serious? mr. mcgurk: probably different. anti-isil than the guys in the government. there's a debate about -- we drive the to population in to the hands of isi will in some of the areas. is issue of electricity something that gets you a detailed-specific answer.
>> time is up. we hit train and trucks and factories. isis economic targets? mr. mcgurk: yes, we are hitting the trucks. we're trying to do it in a way that limits the possibility of killing the truck drivers. figured out a way to do that. weresentative sherman: are willing to hit the trucks while being driven? mcgurk: well -- words, no. >> well --
>> thank you. i yield. mr. yoho. thank you.ive yoho: i feel the same way. pretty much a yes or no. the nationalme of budget. the global security and the presidents budget. that's why the united states is coalitione global that will destroy the islamic state of iraq and the budget $11 billion over for the dod. that's like wanting to learn to play the piano and you buy the piano and put in the money for lesson, but you don't practice. i hear a lot like we're looking at it. we're looking at the safe zones
in syria by jordan and by turkey. we're looking at that. we've been studying that for years. at some point, it has to be acted upon. i want to follow up with mr. sherman's comments that the reasoning to continually not these transports vehicles with oil. the no-fly zone that was initiated by the administration with hillary clinton to create a no-fly zone that lead to a failed safe. gaddafi.of now libya is an isis recruited and training center. biggest one of the camps 12 miles from the largest oil production facility. not just bombing them worldr. sherman said in a strategy.d it brought the war to an end. we've been studying things and for four orptions five years now.
close to 300,000 people have died. are looking at putting pressure on that. we are still studying it. yet nothing happens. largest migration of worldes against the because of the failed policies of the administration. what are we doing? are we going to stop doing and start acting stronger? mr. mcgurk: i was just in the they killed isis leaders. they killed 6,000 in that battle alone. we've destroyed 400 tanker trucks. the idea that we're just launching this is -- mr. yoho: when they were destroyed? months? mr. mcgurk: last four or five months. about this for years. why are they allowed to produce anything. destroyedd have been back then.
have we had a clear-cut strategy? a realmy -- this is pointed question. what is the administration's reasoning to continually press the refugees from syria and other areas in the middle east to relax the entry requirements in to u.s. especially when belgiumgermany, and have document the that over 70 eu andembers entered the they had through syria with fake passports of they were the shootings inid the paris. administration hell bent on relaxing these restrictions? for that?e reasoning mcgurk: that is going to continue. representative yoho: they say there's no way to vet these people. not put a pause to make sure
they are not fake passports. you are saying that. germanys and the other countries are saying wait a minute. we're not doing this anymore. why are we not heeding the warning that we know is going to happen? my mcgurk: i defer to colleagues. i'll get you a better answer. mostve one of the astringent policies. we are not aware of an refugee the program.gh representative yoho: going back the transport, we talked about the failure to go after this. we are out of war in terrorism; right? isis is the terrorists organization that we're in conflict with. poll -- pullwhat you had.
i see the duty on the national security by this administration. hope that you would help them straighten that out. i yield back. >> thank you so much. duty.er colleague, mr. thankentative deutch: you. as long as we're talking about askissues, i'm not going to you. it is hard to comprehend and the request that the administration and says the criticism will be this sooner?take when the concern that we have about fighting terrorism, at least one in small respect can be addressed if you acknowledge who are in --ls who can't find the country they are on a terrorism
watch list can go to any gun purchase a gun. i don't understand it. if we're going to talk about reckless endangerment, that's something the congress ought to be do and the speaker ought to allow us to debate on. me toimpossible for understand how half the entire hearing that single step that that's logical for the american people has yet to be done. now i want to circle back to a that we hadexchange earlier on iran. the focus is really on iraq. after the nuclear deal, has that iranianspact on the and with respect to their activities on the ground in hezbollahsupporting and propping up assad and at the
fighting isis? mcgurk: thanks for your question. iran is at the table with saudi everybody else. that's significant. think their tactic and strategies in syria if anything have made the conflict worse. i think we've been very clear on that. iran is focused on the election later this month which will decide some things about the country is headed. they don't see the change in terms of what they are doing in syria. would observe how many things would be decided when the number of reformers who allowed to run is near ten. at south. representative deutch: i appreciate that. asked a follow up.
-- fact is iran and its rock proxies are impossible for the assad and his ability to massacre his own people. the earlier stages of these debates, there was talk about like to go who would after assad because of the brutality against their family member and community members. if they didn't have that opportunity, sometimes they'd turn to whoever would give them the chance to fight no matter how awful the group might be. what are we doing now to ensure that the battle of is against one that isil and yet also acknowledges the assad regime ultimately has -- is responsible for so much of the problems that exist.
realcgurk: this is a problem. as long as the regime is running bore, which it is right now, the pool of fighters, particularly in the parts of the isil isto fight reduced. i discuss in some detail north of the groups that we were working with have now peeled off to fight the regime. why the russian air campaign in its respect has made against is accident s -- isil more difficult. the want to help because americans released. family thishe morning on the senate side on the markup of the resolution that we're going to be taking up to here. they deserve to have that same
feeling of joy and relief that families are now feeling. i just can't emphasize strongly how important it is for us, for the american people, and be unrelenting to bring them home. mcgurk: i assure you the prisoners was one of the most difficult things i'd ever done. i met them in the west wing. not season our efforts. >> thank you so much. thank you, mr. deutch. of massachusetts. representative keating: thank everybody. you've done a great job.
speaking as a member of congress as well. about puttinge things in perspective in terms evenreats here at home, with the lang in the terrorists watch list, i think it is just get a vote on we that. the idea that people on the list cans watch legally procure exclusives and and do that legally in the country. it is something that we have to of our ownpart homeland security. the question is that i have earlier thises is last year i went with a group of homelandgues from the security committee. we were looking at tracking the issues surrounding foreign terrorists fighters and those issues. could you give an update on the resolution inelor the regard to 2178 and also more specifically my concern is to
the progress was to turkey. i'm hopeful but skeptical about to secure that border area. thatssues that stand out passenger name record issue with and even the kind the border.done on can you tell me any progress? that has the direct effect with security here at home. their ability to do that. the terrorists that we see in in this regard. the first step was to focus international attention. was resolution 2178 which
came out of the u.n. general assembly in 2014. then i think as my mentioned, 45 countries have updated their laws to track down the foreign fighters. what we're trying to do now as we learn more about the networks and through the coalition -- it coalition isobal so important. it is sharing information across of effort.e lines wethe foreign fighter sides have a cell that shares information across borders. we've had arrests now. now we're sharing information to collapse the foreign fighter networks. a very difficult endeavor. it is law enforcement. it is intelligence. it is constantly sharing information. we found that many of the countries we work with, they
sharingifficult time information amongst themselves. it is a problem that we had 9/11. >> there's different laws. mr. mcgurk: they are working to same thing. passenger name recognition is a critical thing. that was getting in the way and on privacy laws. passed eu parliament has the name recognition. we know everybody coming in to the u.s. something we're diligent about and something we raise all the time. within the coalition we now have a permanent structure set up on the foreign terrorists fighter side. is a permanent platform constantly sharing information connecting tout thes. it has lead to a number of fbi investigations. out of the coalition activities. it is something we're going to continue. quickly one other question before my time expires.
there's been written reports that the terrorists fighters that their salaries and the much ass been cut by as 50%. know about your reports and what kind of impact would they have? this begins to break down and and damage their ability to finance the terrorists activities. mr. mcgurk: a very good question. to goason we decided after the bulk cash storage sites in mosul. they are in downtown mosul. a risk that some civilians might lose their life like?airstrike line yes. strike thetant to sites. this is how they are paying and recruiting their fighters. we eliminated the fights.
we're careful about civilian for a reason. we're not going to be like the russians and some others who are using dummy bombs and trying to kill people they consider extremist. the most precise air campaign in history. we're proud of that. it has been show most effective campaign by sharing coalition u.s. government to identify the targets and then to action those targets is takes time to peace together. sometimes it takes longer than we might want. we have pieced it together. we have done the airstrikes. very effective. they have lead to very credible information that we have now its pay toas cut 50%.gn fighters by nearly
representative keating: thank you. i wish we could say the same thing about the russian and the way they are conducting their bombing exercises as we can own exercises. i yield back. much, mr. u so keating. -- this is anre incredibly dangerous threat. the hearing is adjourned. so much.k: thank you is adjourned.
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