NATO’s top general said that the current exodus of migrants to Europe is providing cover for terrorists and that the mass migration is allowing ISIS to spread “like a cancer.”
Following testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Supreme Allied Commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Tuesday that the “dawning challenge of mass migration” spurred by the ongoing conflict in Syria and the threat of ISIS in the Middle East was allowing terrorists seeking to do harm in Europe and the United States free movement into the continent.
He said that the movement “masks the movement of criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters (into Europe). Within this mix (ISIS) is spreading like a cancer, taking advantage of paths of least resistance and threatening European nations, and our own, with terrorist attacks.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, in a press conference with Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, stressed that while there was a need to protect the European Union’s external borders, it was important to reinstate the system of open frontiers between member states.
“The situation is not yet so that we can be content. Every day we see the pictures from Greece — we have to get back to the Schengen system,” she said, referring to 1985’s Schengen Agreement, which guaranteed free movement within Europe. It has been temporarily suspended by some member states and is expected to be amended later this month.
“Greece of course has to protect its borders — this is not about only protecting the Greek-Macedonian border from the Macedonian side, so that we don’t get new routes in the migration flow.”