Militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are “well-funded,” a United Nations (UN) representative for Iraq says.
“In terms of financing and the flow of vehicles and weapons that ISIL possesses, clearly the organization is quite well-funded,” Nickolay Mladenov, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Iraq, said on Wednesday.
Mladenov also noted that the ISIL terrorist group has various sources of funding and supplies, adding that the militants coming from Syria into Iraq were “well-trained, well-equipped and clearly very well-prepared.”
The UN envoy also raised the death toll of the civilians from the recent surge of violence in Iraq to at least 1,300.
On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Baghdad.
Over the past days, Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad.
However, their advance has been slowed down as Iraqi military forces and volunteer fighters have begun engaging them on several fronts, pushing the militants out of several areas they had earlier overrun.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has blamed Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, and denounced the Al Saud regime as a major supporter of global terrorism.