I hope this finds all of you well. Over the last few weeks, it’s been a full plate for SoA in the Middle East. We’ve launched multiple projects across the region. Because of our organizational agility and ability to work with deployed troops and their local partners, our initiatives are bolstering stability, countering extremist ideologies, and providing aid and comfort to displaced civilians in some of the hardest to reach places.
From Iraq and Syria to Jordan and Lebanon our work is making a difference. So I wanted to share with you an initial update about what we have in store, with more to follow over the next couple of weeks.
In Iraq, I joined US Army Civil Affairs officers with the Directorate of Civil Military Engagement for a meeting with Iraqi Security Forces commanders and UN officials. We discussed best practices for screening and processing civilians fleeing ISIS-held territories. In the fog war, it is not easy for soldiers to distinguish between innocent civilians and the terrorists hiding among them. We are coordinating our efforts with US troops to help address this challenge.
Across the border in Syria, I’ve been working with US teams to ensure children there can experience that back-to-school feeling, just like American kids back home. Promoting education in areas recently liberated from ISIS is not only a moral imperative, but it’s also vital for long-term stability.
Similarly, in Jordan, we’re teaming up with US and Jordanian Army units to provide school supplies for children from low-income families near one of the American military bases there.
Finally, in Lebanon, we’ve been working with the US CA team and their Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) counterparts to assist the ongoing anti-ISIS operation in the northeast part of the country. This operation represents a pivotal moment for the LAF as it reinforces their role as the sole guarantor of security and stability in Lebanon. We’re doing our part to support this effort.