Islamic State terrorist group has regained strength in Syria and Iraq
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
France’s armed forces minister warned on Sunday that the Islamic State has “regained strength” in both Iraq and Syria.
Armed forces minister Florence Parly was asked on the France Inter radio show Questions Politiques if “ISIS had been defeated in Syria”.
“France considers Daesh [ISIS] to still be present. We could even say that there is a kind of resurgence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq,” Parly said.
“Daesh has regained strength in Syria,” Parly said, making reference to the “very deadly” bus attack in eastern Syria that killed 25 people and injured 13 more on December 30. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack a day later.
The bus attack took place near the town of Deir ez-Zor – an area that has been a hive of ISIS activity in recent months.
ISIS “are also reassembling in Iraq,” Parly said.
“Daesh has not been eradicated in the Levant… that’s why we’re still doing training, why we continue our hunt.”
Four Rafale fighter jets stationed in Jordan are participating in missions for the global anti-ISIS coalition, Parly added.
ISIS was declared territorially defeated in Iraq at the end of 2017, and in Syria in March 2019.
However, international and local officials have warned for some time of a potential ISIS resurgence in the two countries.
In the latest edition of ISIS propaganda newsletter al-Naba, the militant group said it had killed and injured 78 people in Syria and 30 people in Iraq.
Parly’s presence on the hour-long politics show was dominated by discussion of recent French troop casualties in Mali at the hands of jihadists.
Five French soldiers were killed in Mali in the space of a week at the turn of the year, all by roadside explosive devices.