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UN declares new stage in fight against Islamic State

February 08, 21:22 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Its implementation requires intensified international efforts, head of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov said

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UNITED NATIONS, February 8. /TASS/. The fight against the Islamic State (IS) terror group (outlawed in Russia) is entering a new phase whose implementation requires intensified international efforts, head of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov said at a Security Council meeting on Thursday.

"The fight against the Islamic State is entering a new phase," he said, presenting the sixth report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in which he addressed the threat posed by the terror group. "Despite significant military defeats suffered by the IS in Iraq, Syria and the southern Philippines last year, the group and its branches continue to pose a serious threat whose nature is changing," Voronkov said.

He stressed that "the IS no longer focuses on capturing and retaining territories." According to Voronkov, the group "had to adapt itself" and is currently "a global network with the flat hierarchy and weakened operational control over its branches." The terrorists now focus on small and motivated groups, which are ready to commit terrorist attacks and help others to prepare them.

Voronkov pointed out that the influx of militants to Iraq and Syria had "practically stopped," and the principal threat emanates from militants returning to their countries or move to other regions. He also drew attention to the collapse of the IS propaganda machine but warned that the group’s members continue to actively use modern means of communication.

According to Voronkov, "the rapidly changing transnational threat posed by the IS represents a complex challenge for the member-countries and the international community and also emphasizes the importance of exchanging information on the identities of returning foreign terrorists. He advised countries "to redouble their efforts and strengthen international cooperation, combat terrorism and violent extremism," and hold accountable those responsible for committing terrorist attacks."

Voronkov noted that, in recent months, the Security Council passed a number of resolutions on the war on terror and called for a focus on "compliance with these new global norms." He also recalled the upcoming UN summit involving the heads of countries' counter-terrorism agencies scheduled for June, which is expected to discuss strengthening international cooperation and innovating methods of combating terrorism.

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