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US helps Syria terrorists, it doesn't fight them,' says Assad aide, & UK-Faroes trade deal (E717)

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad, about America's withdrawal from Syria, Israeli strikes on the country, the West's lack of understanding regarding the Middle East, the Islamist threat, and ISIS bride Shamima Begum. Next, we speak to Poul Michelsen, the Faroe Islands' minister for trade and foreign affairs, about the new trade deal it has signed with the UK.

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Full statement from US government spokesperson:

The regime’s accusations are nonsense. As Vice President Pence said in Munich last week, thanks to the courage of US armed forces and the efforts of our 78 coalition partners, the ISIS caliphate has been decimated, and five million Iraqis, Syrians, Arabs, Kurds, and Muslims – men, women, and children – have been liberated. We have also worked with our partners to support stabilization efforts that have helped millions displaced by the violence in Iraq and northeast Syria return home and begin to rebuild their lives.

As for Rukban, the United States has long advocated and will continue to advocate for freedom of movement for internally displaced persons (IDPs). It has not impeded and will not impede the movement of any IDPs who wish to depart from the Rukban encampment. Nor will it force anyone to leave. The United States fully supports a process that is free from coercion and allows for safe, voluntary, and dignified departures for those wishing to leave Rukban. Any unilateral process to arrange departures that is not transparent or does not allow for informed decision-making by Rukban residents is not acceptable.

ISIS remains a significant threat and we will continue to support our partners in their efforts, as well as to promote stabilization activities, humanitarian assistance, and inclusive governance to ensure ISIS’s enduring defeat and to bring greater stability to the region. We are now also supporting an international effort underway to hold ISIS accountable for its terrible crimes.