Over 30,000 militants from over 100 countries arrived in the Middle East in the recent years to join organisations such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, disclosed this in a report to the UN security council meeting.
He said during the debates on the Middle East situation that organisations listed as terrorist by the UN security council and other bodies have thrived in the climate of weak governance and the absence of human rights that pervade the region.
“It is estimated that over 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters from over 100 member states have travelled to the Middle East in recent years to join such groups,” he said.
“Their presence over expanses of territory and accumulation of resources and weaponry pose an increased threat to regional and international peace and security. Some foreign fighters have already returned to their home countries spreading violence in their own communities.”
Mladenov pointed out the “catastrophic” humanitarian and social impact of the conflicts in the Middle East.
“In Syria, hundreds of thousands have been killed since 2011 and approximately half of the population is displaced,” he said.
Over five million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with nearly three million in Turkey, over one million in Lebanon and more than 650,000 in Jordan.
In Iraq, over 334,000 people are currently displaced in total as a result of fighting in Mosul.
In Yemen – the poorest county in the Middle East – the situation also continues to deteriorate as 18.8 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 10.3 million in need of immediate help.