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Financial intelligence of Russia, Iraq, Iran, Syria agree to fight financing IS together

Heads of financial intelligence services of Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria have agreed to fight together against financing the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization.

Russia's Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) told TASS on Thursday that heads of intelligence services of Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria held a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday and discussed strengthening cooperation in fighting against financing of terrorism.

"Our countries are directly influenced by the situation around the Islamic State. That is why at this uneasy time it is especially obvious that joint mechanisms are needed to fight against this evil," head of Rosfinmonitoring Yury Chikhanchin said.

Participants in the meeting highly assessed Russia's efforts on uncovering channels of IS financing. The sides also discussed the format of cooperation between financial intelligence services of Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

At the end of the meeting, Russia's Financial Monitoring Service signed several agreements on cooperation in this sphere with Syria's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Commission and Iranian Economy Ministry's Center for Financial Intelligence and Fight against Money Laundering.

Islamic State extremist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announced the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries.

According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Feb16]

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