ISIL terrorist group "yet to be strategically weakened"

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Jeffrey Feltman. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, or has yet to be "strategically or irreversibly weakened" despite its recent military setbacks.

That's the view of Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Remarking on the latest Secretary-General's report on the threat posed by Daesh, he said the so-called Caliphate was "under financial pressure".

Matthew Wells reports.

Overall said Mr Feltman, the threat posed by Daesh and its associates, "remains high, and continues to diversify".

Although it had lost territory in Iraq, it still controls the large city of Mosul, and swathes of northern Syria.

He said that its recent military setbacks could be one factor behind the notable increase in the number of foreign terrorist fighters returning home.

"However ISIL is yet to be strategically or irreversibly weakened. The inflow of arms and ammunition directly into ISIL-held territory remains a serious concern. Given its recent military setbacks, ISIL may be moving into a new phase, elevating the role of its affiliates, trying to move funds outside the current zones of conflict, and increasing the risk of complex, multi-wave and international attacks."

The report notes that for the first time since declaring its self-styled Caliphate in June 2014, the terrorist group was trying to compensate for a loss in oil revenues by increasing its illegal revenue sources such as smuggling and kidnapping.

Significant numbers of foreign terrorist fighters are continuing to join Daesh from around the world, said Mr Feltman.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″

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