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NATO Officer: Daesh Wants to Have Maritime Arm for Attacks in Mediterranean

© AFP 2021 / AHIKAM SERI An aerial view taken on July 30, 2015 shows the Tamar Israeli gas-drill platform in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel
An aerial view taken on July 30, 2015 shows the Tamar Israeli gas-drill platform in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel - Sputnik International
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NATO is aware of the fact that the Daesh militant group wants to create a maritime arm and use the Mediterranean to freely travel along the North African seaboard, target maritime trade and oil platforms, and control the maritime access, according to a senior UK naval officer.

Servicemen of the Syrian army near the village of Salma, Latakia Province - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Daesh (Islamic State) jihadist group has an ambition of creating a maritime arm to carry out attacks in the Mediterranean, a senior NATO naval officer said.

"We know they have had ambitions to go off shore, we know they would like to have a maritime arm, just as Al Qaeda had a maritime arm," UK Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone stated Thursday, speaking on board a Spanish NATO ship in London, as quoted by The Telegraph newspaper.

Cruise liners, oil platforms, container ships in the Mediterranean could be targeted by the militants, he noted.

"NATO mustn’t think the Mediterranean is just about immigration. It is the spread along the North African seaboard, it is the Daesh entry into Libya, it is the Daesh control of Sirte and other places, which has an uncomfortable shadow over maritime trade and maritime access," Johnstone warned.

Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia, has seized large areas in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate on territories under its control. The group is currently considered to be one the main threats to global security. According to reports, Daesh jihadists are trying to expand their influence in North African countries, particularly in Libya.

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