19:45 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria

    Islamic State Poses Grave New Threats to Middle East

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    According to former Russian Prime Minister, the Islamic State has spread with new centers proclaiming the establishment of a caliphate on the occupied territories.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Islamic State (ISIL) militant group, which is currently in control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, poses a greater threat to Middle East security than the initial Shiite-Sunni conflict suggests, a former Russian Prime Minister told Sputnik Thursday.

    "You could note that the Islamic State has become somewhat blurred recently. Alongside the general confrontation between the Sunni and the Shia that remains, new centers have appeared, as well as new slogans calling to fight for the establishment of a caliphate on the occupied territories," Yevgeny Primakov said.

    Primakov, who also served as Foreign Intelligence Service chief, laid the blame on the United States for destabilizing the region.

    The US-led coalition of over 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes against the ISIL in Iraq since last August, and in Syria since September 2014.

    "Of course, I think that the current state of affairs in these countries [Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen] is the outcome of the United States policies. It is these policies that have led to a situation when the crucial question arises if these countries will survive," Primakov added.

    The former top diplomat suggested that up to 1,500 people from the former Soviet Union republics could be "already fighting under the banner of the terrorist group."

    Overall, some 20,000 foreign fighters, including up to 4,000 Western Europeans, are believed to have joined the ISIL over the past three years, according to US intelligence officials.

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Middle East, Daesh, Yevgeny Primakov, Iraq, Syria
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