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UN experts: Islamic State aims for resurgence in Iraq, Syria

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 18:03:41-04

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. experts say leaders of the Islamic State extremist group are aiming to consolidate and create conditions for an “eventual resurgence in its Iraqi and Syrian heartlands.”

The experts said in a report to the Security Council this week that the process is more advanced in Iraq, where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and most of the militant group’s leadership are now based.

But they said the IS covert network in Syria is spreading and sleeper cells are being established at the provincial level, mirroring what has been happening in Iraq since 2017.

The expert panel said al-Qaida “remains resilient” though its immediate global threat remains unclear, with its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri “reported to be in poor health and doubts as to how the group will manage the succession.”