Donald Trump: Middle East Needs to ‘Starve the Beast’ of Terrorism

FILE - In this March 1, 2017 file photo, an Iraqi soldier inspects a recently-discovered train tunnel, adorned with an Islamic State group flag, that belonged to the former Baghdad to Mosul line, that was turned it to a training camp for IS fighters, in western Mosul, Iraq. Some 40 …
AP/Khalid Mohammed, File

President Donald Trump praised his administration’s effort to combat terrorism, citing the importance of the Middle East to stop funding extremist and terrorist groups.

“You have to starve the beast, and we’re going to starve the beast, believe me,” Trump said.

The president spoke about his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, working to build partnerships with Middle East nations to defeat terrorism.

He highlighted the Middle Eastern response to Qatar as one sign that progress was being made on the front of terrorism funding.

He also praised Saudi Arabia for taking a “greater role in stability and security” in the Middle East.

“It’s not an easy fight, but that’s a fight we’re going to win,” he said.

Trump focused on Qatar’s funding of terrorism last week, calling it a “hard but necessary action” that culminated in a statement in the Rose Garden during his press conference.

“The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,” Trump said, after several Middle Eastern countries froze travel and diplomatic relations with the country. “I want to call on all of the nations to stop immediately supporting terrorism, stop teaching people to kill other people, stop filling their minds with hate and intolerance.”

During his press conference, Trump asserted that there were other Middle Eastern countries who continued to fund terrorism.

“I won’t name other countries, but we are not done solving the problem,” he said. “But we will solve that problem. Have no choice.”

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