RAQQA, Syria / NINEVEH PLAINS, Iraq — During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Under-Secretary for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov announced that available data indicates that there are more than 10,000 Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists still active in both Iraq and Syria, mostly organized into small cells.
Both countries are still witnessing campaigns against the remnants of ISIS, despite the announcement of the groups territorial defeat in early 2019.
ISIS cells in the Syrian desert (Badia) continue to launch attacks on Syrian regime forces. Two members of regime-aligned militias were killed, and five others were injured, by a landmine explosion near the Al-Rusafa area in the Badia near Raqqa on Monday.
In Iraq, intelligence detachments in northern Iraq’s Nineveh Province arrested five ISIS members. Two ISIS strongholds were also located in deserted houses in Al-Baaj city.
ISIS sleeper cells remain active in various parts of the two countries, especially along their shared border.
On 14 August, Iraqi forces managed to stop an attempt by over 100 ISIS fighters to cross the Syrian–Iraqi border with explosive materials.