UN reveals numbers of ISIS members in Syria, Iraq

ERBIL, KRI, Iraq (North Press) – Threat posed by ISIS terrorist fighters and their affiliates remains “global and evolving”, said United Nations Counter-Terrorism Chief Vladimir Voronkov on Tuesday.

In a joint briefing to the Security Council, Voronkov revealed numbers of ISIS members in Syria and Iraq, and the assets held by the group’s leaders.   

Voronkov pointed out that though ISIS was territorially defeated and its leaders incurred losses, however, it is on the increase since the outbreak of the Covid-10 pandemic.

Voronkov said “Da’esh [ISIS] leaders manage between $25 to $50 million in assets, significantly less than estimates three years ago.”

The UN official said ISIS adopts a decentralized structure focused around a “general directorate of provinces” and associated “offices”. 

Voronkov emphasized that communities affected by conflicts are the most vulnerable ones to the threats posed by ISIS.

Regarding the number of the ISIS members, Voronkov said “The border between Iraq and Syria remains highly vulnerable, with an estimated 10.000 fighters operating in the area.”

He indicated that ISIS and its affiliates continue to exploit conflict dynamics, governance fragilities and inequality to incite, plan and organize terrorist attacks.”

ISIS also exploits pandemic restrictions, misuse digital spaces to recruit sympathizers, according to Voronkov.  

Reporting by Hozan Zubeir