Daesh on the Defensive: UN Report

News ID: 1320656 Service: Other Media
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group is militarily on the defensive, facing a drop in revenue from oil and extortion and a shrinking ability to attract new recruits, according to a new UN report.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned however in the report to the Security Council that Daesh continue to pose a grave threat and are "partially adapting" to losses on the battlefield.

"ISIS (Daesh) is militarily on the defensive in several regions, notably in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the Syrian Arab Republic," said the report released on Monday.

Daesh finances are on a decline, forcing the militant group to operate on a "crisis budget," it added.

Illicit oil sales, mainly from oil fields in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province, dropped from as much as $500 million in 2015 to $260 million last year.

The report urged governments to be vigilant of Daesh efforts to find new revenue streams, citing concerns that journalists and aid workers traveling to areas recaptured from the extremists could be targets for kidnapping.

The flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has slowed considerably, because of security measures taken by governments and also due to the "diminished attractiveness" of the group, said the report.

Several member-states are reporting that many hardened foreign fighters will remain in Iraq and Syria as most of those who intended to leave have already done so.

"The ability of ISIS to attract new recruits has diminished, and fighters are increasingly leaving the battlefield," it said, AFP reported.

The council will meet Tuesday to discuss the report as President Donald Trump has ordered US generals to draw up a new plan to defeat the radical extremists.

Iraqi forces are making strides in their offensive to drive Daesh from Mosul, the country's second city seized in 2014 and proclaimed as the capital of a caliphate stretching into Syria.

In response to the military pressure, Daesh communication and recruitment "are increasingly moving towards more covert methods, such as the use of the dark web, encryption and messengers," said the report.

"The group continues to encourage its followers and sympathizers outside conflict zones to perpetrate attacks."

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