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With 96% of Syria liberated, 'certain states' arm Daesh

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russia's United Nations envoy Vassily Nebenzia (Photo by AFP).

Russia has warned that the remnants of Daesh terrorist group in Syria have been receiving weapons and funds from certain countries with the assistance of foreign security agencies.

The announcement was made by Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, in a speech at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday during which he said Moscow had proof of the assistance that the Takfiri terrorist group was receiving.

"We have amassed evidence that weapons are being smuggled from outside, including through semi-legal organizations or even under protection of security agencies from other countries," Nebenzia said. 

The terrorists were also receiving funds "from outside sponsors, acting under the guise of charity funds, religious organizations, and other non-governmental structures,” he added. The group, the envoy said, was seeking to diversify its crippled sources of income.

On Thursday, a new report said members of the Western-backed White Helmets “aid group” were coordinating with terrorist groups to stage a chemical attack in Idlib province and blame it on the Syrian army.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the ambassador said Syria had now retrieved control of more than 96 percent of its territory. However, he emphasized that Daesh was still eyeing government-controlled areas, most notably the northwestern Idlib Province, and was recruiting children into its activities.

Daesh terrorists "are going all-in, often dragging minors into conducting terrorist acts, including kids younger than 12. Quite possibly the frequency of terrorist attacks, especially in the Idlib area, may increase,” Nebenzia warned.

Idlib contains the largest concentration of the Takfiri terrorists remaining in the Arab country. Syria has said it has made the province the target of its pending concerted counter-terrorism operations.

'Al-Qaeda threat'

Nebenzia further cautioned that al-Qaeda could start filling the void left by Daesh.

"Our assessment is that al-Qaeda and its allies may take the initiative, becoming an obstacle to a peaceful settlement in Syria, as Daesh continues to crumble," he said.

Last year, Syria and its allies defeated Daesh after three years of anti-terror struggle. The group has since been trying to regroup and limited campaign has been reported in a few areas across the country.

Last month, Daesh staged brutal attacks targeting the southern city of Sweida and its surrounding villages, in which more than 250 civilians were killed and dozens of women and children kidnapped.

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