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    Daesh  terrorists pass by a convoy in Tel Abyad, northeast Syria (File)

    Daesh Used Rudimentary Chemical Weapons in Terror Attacks - US State Department

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Daesh used rudimentary chemical weapons and encouraged sympathizers to use whatever other weapon at their disposal to carry out terrorist attacks, the US Department of State said in a report on Wednesday.

    "[Daesh terror group*] has experimented with and employed small unmanned aerial systems and has used rudimentary chemical weapons," the State Department said in its Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. "The group encouraged sympathizers to use whatever weapons were at hand — such as large vehicles — against soft targets and public spaces."

    READ MORE: WATCH Syrian Army Storm Daesh Positions in Dormant Volcanos in Country's South

    The report noted that Daesh lost territory and continued shifting away from a centralized command-and-control structure toward a more diffuse one. Such an approach to operations included handing down the responsibility of deciding where, when and how to attack to homegrown terrorists inspired or enabled by the terror group.

    Also State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said in a conference call on Wednesday that the number of attacks by homegrown extremists is continuing to grow including those inspired by Daesh.

    "We also are experiencing [an] increase in attacks by homegrown terrorists… inspired by ISIS [Daesh]," Sales told reporters citing the US Country Report on Terrorism for 2017.

    Terrorist acts outside the war zone usually take place in public places, hotels, tourist attraction sites and large gatherings. This trend, Sales said, was demonstrated by terrorist attacks in cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, London, and New York City, among others. The United States is focused on weakening the Daesh's ability to recruit, raise money, travel, and plot attacks. Yet, the terrorist group has proven to be resilient and adaptable to the changing environment, the official said.

    READ MORE: Terrorists Preparing to Use Chemical Weapons Against Children in Syria — MoD

    In addition, the report said that the harm caused by the Daesh repeated use of sulfur mustard in Iraq and Syria over the past three years vividly exemplifies the continued terrorist threat posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials and expertise.

    "The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2017 decreased by 23 percent and total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased by 27 percent, compared to 2016," the US State Department said.

    The overall trend, the report added, was largely due to a dramatic drop in attacks and deaths in Iraq. It also noted that 24 percent of all deaths in terrorist attacks in 2017 were perpetrator deaths, down from 26 percent in 2016. Nearly 60 percent of all terrorist attacks took place in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines in 2017.

    According to the report, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria accounted for 70 percent of terrorist attack-related deaths. Of the 100 countries that suffered a terrorist attack last year several saw the number of attacks and total deaths increase, including Kenya, Somalia and the United Kingdom, the report said.

    READ MORE: WATCH Syrian Army Storm Daesh Positions in Dormant Volcanos in Country's South

    Daesh was responsible for more attacks and deaths than any other organization in 2017. The number of attacks and deaths attributable to the group, however, declined year over year by 23 percent and 53 percent, respectively, according to the report.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda that he will make a decision fairly quickly on bringing US troops home from Syria as soon as Daesh is eradicated, a process that is nearing completion.

    *Daesh is a terror organization banned in Russia, US and many other countries.

    Related:

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    Number of Daesh Terrorists in Afghanistan Could Grow to 10,000 - Envoy to UN
    Syrian Army Uncovers Israeli Weapons at Daesh Positions in Daraa – Reports
    Tags:
    terrorist attack, victims, troops, chemical weapons, terrorism, Daesh, U.S. Department of State, United States
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