Between 20,000 and 30,000 ISIS members have maintained presence in Iraq and Syria despite a defeat of the terrorist group, according to a UN report released on August 13.
The report says that ISIS “is still able to mount attacks inside Syrian territory. It does not fully control any territory in Iraq, but it remains active through sleeper cells” hiding out in the desert and elsewhere.
“Among these is still a significant component of the many thousands of active foreign terrorist fighters,” the report said.
The document added that the flow of foreign militants toward the terrorist group “has essentially come to a halt,” pointing out the lack of finances.
The report also said that between 3,000 and 4,000 ISIS members were based in Libya while some of the key operatives in the terrorist group were being relocated to Afghanistan.
ISIS lost most of its territories in Syria and Iraq in 2017 and 2018. Currently, secuirity forces of the Iraqi and Syrian governments are actively working to purge the remaining cells of the terrorist group in the government-controlled areas. However, ISIS members are still capable of hiding in the desert and in areas where the authorities’ control does not exist or it’s weak.