Damascus – The Islamic State (ISIS) radical group has been on the defensive across Syria and Iraq over the past few months.
Amidst mounting military pressure by the US-led coalition and allied Syrian and Iraqi ground troops, ISIS reportedly started to resort to covert methods of communication and recruitment, such as the ‘dark web’.
“ISIS is adapting in several ways to military pressure – resorting to increasingly covert communication and recruitment methods, including by using the ‘dark web,’ encryption and messengers,” senior UN official Jeffrey Feltman said on Tuesday.
“Although its income and the territory under its control are shrinking, ISIS still appears to have sufficient funds to continue fighting,” said Feltman, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
The official pointed out that ISIS now mainly relies on income from “extortion and hydrocarbon exploitation, even though resources from the latter are on the decline.”
The United Nations on Tuesday stressed the need to develop “sustained, coordinated responses” to the grave threat posed by ISIS and affiliated groups.
The UN’s political affairs official warned that foreign jihadist fighters leaving the conflict “could pose a grave risk to their homeland or to the countries they are travelling to or transiting through, such as Iraq and Syria’s neighbours, as well as countries in the Maghreb.”
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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