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ISIS evolved globally despite Syria defeat: State Dept

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ISIS evolved globally despite Syria defeat: State Dept

ISIS evolved globally despite Syria defeat: State Dept

The global presence of Islamic State continued to advance in 2018 through networks and affiliates, the State Department counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales said on Friday, even though the Trump administration declared it defeated the jihadi group in Syria and killed its leader last month in a U.S. raid.

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ISIS evolved globally despite Syria defeat: State Dept

Iran has also remained a top state sponsor of terrorism, Counterterrorism coordinator Ambassador Nathan Sales said at a State Department briefing Friday, and funneled nearly a billion dollars per year to support its proxies in the region despite Washington having significantly ramped up its sanctions against Tehran.

Terrorism tactics and the use of technologies have also evolved in 2018, while war-hardened fighters from groups such as Islamic State returning to their home countries began raising fresh threats, the report said.

Islamic State declared its so-called "caliphate" in 2014 after seizing large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

The hard-line group established its de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, using it as a base to plot attacks in Europe.

In 2017, Islamic State lost control of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, and quickly thereafter almost all of its territory as a result of operations by U.S.-backed forces.

Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed last month in Syria in a raid by U.S. Special forces.

World leaders welcomed his death, but they and security experts warned that the group, which carried out atrocities against religious minorities and horrified most Muslims, remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.

The group on Thursday confirmed his death in an audio tape posted online and said a successor, identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed.

It vowed revenge against the United States.




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