To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the influence of Daesh has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic; what is their current assessment of the risk posed by Daesh in the Middle East; and what steps they are taking to address any such risk.
3 August 2020
We are concerned by reports that Daesh is using the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis to exert their influence. As the Defence Secretary outlined in the Counter-Daesh Statement on 22 July in the House, we continue to work closely with our allies in the Global Coalition to prevent Daesh from resurging, in particular in Syria and Iraq. The Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa discussed this in a Counter-Daesh Coalition Small Group meeting on 4 June. He also raised the importance of the continued fight against Daesh in his conversations with Iraq's Ambassador to the UK on 16 March and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hakim on 1 April. The UK supports the UN Secretary-General's call for a global ceasefire in armed conflicts and we will continue to work closely with international partners towards peace in the Middle East, particularly in light of COVID-19.