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Daesh Boosted Clandestine Network in Iraq, Syria in April-June – Pentagon

© AP Photo / Militant websiteDaesh terrorists pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, northeast Syria (File)
Daesh  terrorists pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, northeast Syria (File) - Sputnik International
The Islamic State terror group was boosting its clandestine network in Iraq and Syria in April-June, the 18th Lead Inspector General report on the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), issued by the Pentagon, said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – In December, US President Donald Trump said that Daesh* had been defeated in Syria and announced the pullout of the US forces from the country.

“During the quarter, ISIS continued its transition from a territory-holding force to an insurgency in Syria and solidified insurgent capabilities in Iraq. According to the Combined Joint Task Force–OIR (CJTF-OIR), ISIS carried out assassinations, suicide attacks, abductions, and arson of crops in both Iraq and Syria. In addition, ISIS established ‘resurgent cells’ in Syria and sought to expand its command and control nodes in Iraq,” the report’s summary said.

The report added that Daesh was also restoring its financial network.

Many supporters of Daesh are sheltering at the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, the report by the Pentagon said.

“The DoD [Department of Defence] described the al Hol [Al-Hawl] camp as a security concern due to the high number of ISIS family members and supporters in the camp, and continued to urge repatriation of ISIS supporters to their countries of origin,” the report’s summary said.

According to the report, the US Agency for International Development said that refugees in the Al-Hawl and Rukban camps were still facing humanitarian problems.

Al-Hawl was reportedly designed to accommodate 20,000 people but has significantly gone over its capacity as military operations against the Islamic State in the Euphrates Valley have intensified earlier this year. Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in the camp.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with the government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups as well as militant and terrorist organizations.

The Pentagon's report on the OIR also says that Daesh from 14,000 to 18,000 militants, operating in Iraq and Syria.

“CJTF-OIR [Combined Joint Task Force OIR] reported based on open source data that ISIS likely retains between 14,000 and 18,000 ‘members’ in Iraq and Syria, including up to 3,000 foreigners,” the report said.

According to the report, estimations of the number of Daesh terrorists from different agencies and experts vary greatly.

*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a wide number of other countries.


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