Iraqi Kurdistan assesses that up to 20,000 Islamic State (IS, banned in Russia) terrorists still remain in Iraq and Syria, Kurdistan Regional Government's Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman told SputnikWASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd November, 2019) Iraqi Kurdistan assesses that up to 20,000 Islamic State (IS, banned in Russia) terrorists still remain in Iraq and Syria, Kurdistan Regional Government's Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman told Sputnik.
"We estimate that between Iraq and Syria, there are 15 to 20,000 ISIS [IS] fighters. And this is why we believe that we all need to be very vigilant about fighting off ISIS, not allowing it to regroup properly," Bayan said. "It's trying very hard all the time to regroup. But also, we need to be careful that... we develop a narrative that goes counter to this terrorist narrative. I mean countries all over the world have suffered from al-Qaeda, ISIS, and those terrorist, extremist narratives, and we need to find some way of fighting it back ideologically."
The Islamic State had seized huge swaths of land in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and created the so-called Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. The Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks across the world.
Iraq announced the defeat of IS in late 2017, three years after it overran much of the country. By March 2019, Iraqi forces, backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, recaptured all the territories occupied by the terrorist group in Iraq. However, IS continues to stage sporadic attacks.