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ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 22, 2020 8:57 pm

Detained senior ISIS leader Qardash

Nasser al-Qardash, a senior ISIS leader newly transferred to Iraqi authority custody will prove to be a “treasure trove” of information on new ISIS strategy for the Iraqi government, security analyst Husham al-Hashimi told Rudaw's Sangar Abdulrahman on Thursday

Iraq's state media reported an Iraqi intelligence announcement of Qardash's arrest in Wednesday, but Hashimi told Rudaw that the ISIS ringleader surrendered himself to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after the battle for the last ISIS stronghold of Baghouz, eastern Syria in March 2019. Qardash was held in Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detention for a year before he was handed to Iraqi forces a few days ago, Hashimi said.

ISIS swept through parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria in the summer of 2014. The extremist militant group, otherwise known by their Arabic acronym Daesh, were declared territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017, and in March 2019 in Syria, but continue to conduct deadly attacks on security forces and civilians.

According to Hashimi, between 3500-4000 active militants and 8000-9000 inactive Daesh militants are currently present in Iraq.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Rudaw: When and how was Nasser al-Qardash arrested?

Husham al-Hashimi: A professional committee in Baghdad belonging to the Iraqi intelligence agency can question such a Daesh leader. He is considered to be holding a lot of important information, since he [Qardash] has been a senior Daesh member through all of the group's stages - from Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and now Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi.

He is a treasure trove of information for the Iraqi government - one that can clarify and identify a lot of key information for the Iraqi government on Daesh, including fund sources, intelligence, their operations in foreign countries, and their internal management. So there will be many interrogation sessions with the Daesh leader [Qardash], to extract as much as information from him as possible on Daesh's new strategy under the leadership of Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi.

He was seen as a potential successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, so how was he arrested so easily? Why didn't he react violently when he knew he was going to be arrested like Baghdadi did, blowing himself before being detained by the Americans?

Qardash was arrested last year, surrendering himself after the battle of Baghouz in eastern Syria to the SDF, who handed Qardash over to the coalition forces. He was held for a year at the Haqil al-Omar prison in eastern Syria.

The Iraqi intelligence agency provided the coalition with a lot of information on Nasser Qardash, and the Iraqi intelligence agency participated in the interrogation sessions on him alongside the SDF and the coalition forces at Haqil al-Omar.

Qardash was transferred to Iraq a few days ago, after a year in Syria. Iraq is now continuing to interrogate Qardash, paving the way for researchers and psychiatrists to start getting Qardash to reveal information on Daesh, as he holds a lot of information on the group because he was its main leader in eastern Syria from 2011 to 2019.

So if he was arrested in 2019, why was his detention only announced now?

Qardash was held in an SDF prison, under the supervision of the coalition forces - specifically the coalition's US forces. The transfer of such a Daesh leader from Syria to Iraq entails a lot of protocol and diplomatic effort.

But investigation into Qardash was continuous throughout his detention at Haqil al-Omar prison. Iraqi intelligence officers frequently visited him at the prison to interrogate him, and the Iraqis were able to force Qardash to reveal a lot of information on Daesh.

Will the detention of Qardash negatively impact Daesh? Do you think the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and detention of Qardash will bring an end to the group? Many say that the death and detention of Daesh leaders does not affect its activities.

I don't think Daesh could have been defeated by killing one of its leaders, but it is surely weakened when one a founding leader who was a mastermind behind its movement in the region is killed or arrested. So the detention of Qardash definitely weakens Daesh.

With the arrest of Qardash, who will be Daesh's next leader?

According to local and international intelligence sources, Daesh already appointed a new leader in November 2019, which is Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi, also known as Haji Amer Qardash or Haji Abdullah Qardash.

Daesh has alternatives, but ones that are of less value and importance than Nasser Qardash. Those who now lead the Daesh delegate committee are less powerful and skillful than Nasser Qardash.

In the past few days Daesh has conducted widespread attacks on Iraqi security forces, killing many force members especially in and around Diyala. Do you think Iraqi forces are still in need of US-led coalition support and assistance to confront Daesh?

I think Iraq is still very much in need of the US-led coalition support. Although Iraqi forces have been improved very much recently, they still need coalition support to completely eliminate Daesh in Iraq.

My last question – what is your estimation of Daesh militant numbers in Iraq?

There are approximately 3500-4000 active militants and 8000-9000 inactive Daesh militants currently present in Iraq.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/210520203
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 22, 2020 9:00 pm

Two senior ISIS leaders killed

Two ISIS leaders were killed in a joint raid by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US-led anti-ISIS coalition in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria on Sunday, according to a Coalition statement

According to the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) statement released on Friday evening. Ahmad ‘Isa Ismail al-Zawi, otherwise known as Abu Ali al-Baghdadi, was the leader of ISIS in North Baghdad, and Ahmad ‘Abd Muhammad Hasan al-Jughayfi, a senior supplies and logistics leader across Iraq and Syria, were kiilled in the May 17 operation.

"The removal of these ISIS leaders will disrupt future attacks against innocent civilians and our security partners and in the region," the statement read.

This is a developing story...

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/22052020
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 25, 2020 12:26 am

Increased ISIS activities
in and around Kirkuk


Othman al-Ghanmi, minister of interior, to deploy additional federal police brigades to Kirkuk amid increasing Daesh activities

Othman al-Ghanmi has approved the deployment of two additional federal police brigades to Kirkuk, in particular to Dibis and Hawija districts, western and south western of the city, where the Islamic State groups’s sleep cells (ISIS) have recently intensified their activities.

Al-Ghanmi expressed his support for such a deployment in his visit to Kirkuk yesterday, Monday 23, where he met with the military commanders.

Ali Hamadi, an assistant to the governor of Kirkuk, said that, “the decision to deploy two additional federal police brigades to Kirkuk was made ten days ago and today (May 23) the minister of interior formally approved the decision.”

“The two brigades are supposed to be stationed in Dibis and Hawija district, to protect the areas from the threats of ISIS,” he added.

The ISIS sleep cells occasionally carry out attacks against the civilians and the security forces as well as pose threats to the oil fields located in Dibis.

Hamadi claimed that, “the interior minister has promised to deploy additional troops to the city whenever needed,” and has praised the role of the federal police.

The Major General of the Federal Police Jaafar al-Battat, and both secretary of interior ministry for federal police and intelligence affairs accompanied al-Ghanmi in his visit to the Kirkuk on May 23.

Rakan al- Jabouri, Kirkuk Governor, Saad Harbiya, commander of Kirkuk operation room and 61st brigade and majority of military commanders in the city participated in the meeting.

Al-Ghanmi has particularly discusses the recent security developments of the province. Hamadi added that he said that, “take all the necessary measures to stabilize and to protect the city from the threats of ISIS militants.”

The minister has also mentioned the replacement of commanders every three years, but has not made any replacement in his visit.

According to a statement issued by the office of Kirkuk governor, al-Jabouri said that, “the security situation of the city is stable and the relations between different ethnic components of the city are at a good level.”

It was the first time the minister of interior visited the city of Kirkuk since the formation of the new Iraqi government on May 7.

http://kirkuknow.com/en/news/62307
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 25, 2020 1:57 am

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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon May 25, 2020 12:26 pm

Inside the Sisterhood
Springing Jihadis From Jail


“Do you know any way to get me transferred to Camp al Hol?” asks an ISIS prisoner in a neighboring camp texting from one of the illicit phones passed around among the detainees. If the guards from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) catch her with it there will be hell to pay, but all she’s thinking about is how she can get out

To stay in SDF custody, she believes, is to face the growing threat of attacks on the largely Kurdish-led SDF by Turkish-backed rebels, and rapes and assaults that have gone along with that, plus the Turkish bombardments in the region, and now the spread of COVID-19 in Syria.

There was a time when U.S. special operations forces helped keep the prisons, the prisoners–and the SDF troops–secure. But that time ended last year when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the plug on America’s SDF allies, the soldiers who did the vital fighting and dying on the ground in the war to crush the so-called Islamic State. Since then a much more tenuous and treacherous modus vivendi has taken shape, with much less American influence.

Previously this prisoner had texted us that she had the opportunity to escape but passed it up because she had turned herself in to the SDF with the express wish to be repatriated and face justice at home in the West. But now, seeing the steady stream of ISIS females escaping from al Hol, she’s having second thoughts. Maybe freedom is an option for her.

Indeed, there have been multiple escapes from Camp al Hol, most of them facilitated with bribes to local guards in the amounts of $3,000 to $4,500 per person. Hundreds of women, many from Europe, escaped another camp, Ain Issa, when it was bombarded during the Turkish invasion of North East Syria in the fall of 2019.

Lisa Smith from Ireland and Bouchra Abouallal from Belgium, both of whom escaped from Ain Issa camp, were among some of the women who made their way toward Turkey, trying to get home, possibly meaning to turn themselves in. Lisa Smith made it and is now facing justice at home in Dublin; Bouchra remains detained in a Turkish prison, although her children have been brought back to Belgium, where they were born before their parents joined ISIS.

GO FUND ISIS

Evidence has grown over the last year of fundraising in Europe to pay for escapes and smuggling operations out of Al Hol. Richard Hall of the Independent reported that an operation called “Justice for Sisters” was launched in June of 2019 with the help of an intermediary in Germany using an online crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise money from European sympathizers.

Another campaign reported at the same time by the Kurdish Rojava Information Center was explicitly raising funds via the popular encrypted messaging app Telegram and PayPal to pay smugglers to help women in Camp Hol escape.

To avoid takedowns by PayPal, the fundraising campaigns were given names like “Honeymoon in Vienna” by their ISIS-supporting organizers. In July, the Telegram channel was closed, but whether it resurfaced under another heading is unknown to us.

Similarly, operatives in Idlib have run a campaign called “Free the Female Prisoners” that claims to have had success getting four women out of the camp. That campaign released a poster on Telegram stating, “$8,000 secures the full release of a sister and the Golden share $4,000 covers half the cost.”

Hall writes about how money may be moved to foreign women in Camp al Hol: “Money transfer facilities are present in the main part of the camp, and foreign detainees could in theory receive money with the help of a Syrian living in the camp.” We would add that ISIS women could also make illicit arrangements with local Syrians who sell them food and other supplies.

The International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) recently discovered “Justice for Sisters” on Instagram, with one of the accounts looking like its run from al Hol camp, most likely via an illicit phone.

The women detained in al Hol, pictured in full opaque niqabs, wrote that they needed $7,500 to escape. While many of the posts are written in German, a few are written in Arabic and English. One English post noted the lack of electricity and medication, “causing viruses to spread rapidly.” The women pleaded for funds “in our hour of need.”

They also posted an ISIS propaganda video promising “the punishment of the Burning Fire” to “those who have tortured the believing men and believing women.”

In the caption for the video, the women suggested that those who donated would be helping the family of a shaheed, a “martyr” according to ISIS’s warped interpretation of Islam, meaning that at least one of each woman’s husbands was killed while fighting for ISIS. (Under the Islamic State, women who lost their husbands in combat were directed to marry other fighters right away.)

Another video showed women reading a message in German, English, and Arabic. This Instagram account also features Instagram stories with photos and videos of ISIS fighters and their families in ISIS’s last stronghold of Baghouz, plus requests for cash donations displayed in international currency, and the pictures showing the dire conditions in al Hol.

That account bio includes links to two other Instagram accounts apparently not run from al Hol. One, supposedly run by a man, posted photos and videos of the women in al Hol. His content was almost exclusively in German. Another account posted a link to a PayPal account as well as an address in Germany where supporters could go to offer “help and support.” Most of the photos posted by this account were of women and their children in al Hol,

THE ESCAPEES

The women who have escaped from the SDF-run camps are many. Hayat Boumedienne, partner of Amedy Coulibaly who was one of the perpetrators of the horrific January 2015 attacks in Paris, France, is one of 13 French jihadists who have escaped from SDF camps. "Some were married to well-known jihadists, others made propaganda and appeared in the magazines of the Islamic State organization" says Jean-Charles Brisard, cofounder of the Paris-based Terrorism Analysis Center told Agence France Presse last week.

Boumedienne fled France shortly before the Paris attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical papers and Coulibaly’s hostage taking and assault at a kosher supermarket in 2015. Boumedienne was in the company of Mahdi Sabri Belhoucine, the brother of a jihadist notorious in France, as she crossed from Turkey into Syria. She is believed to have been at least peripherally involved in the attacks.

Boumedienne was thought to have died in Syria until recent evidence surfaced in French courts placing her in Camp al Hol in October 2019, according to the testimony of a woman who was detained alongside her. However, she is now believed to have escaped alongside 13 other French women who were detained in al Hol and Ain Issa camps. This number of ISIS female escapes amounts to 10 percent of the French women detained in Syria, according to Brisard.

“People try to escape every day, and people do escape every week,” a camp administrator from Al Hol told Lindsey Snell of The Investigative Journal in February of 2020. She pointed out that some wanted to settle in Idlib or Deir Ezzor, but that most wanted to cross out of Syria to Turkey.

According to an unnamed Turkish journalist cited by Snell, women are assisted by the Turkish military in Jarabulus and Manbij to make their way into Turkey. We have not been able to confirm that specific claim, but it would fit with ICSVE interviews in which ISIS members claim that Turkish intel and military officials helped them in earlier years when they needed to cross the border from Syria into Turkey for various reasons.

The SDF acknowledges these escapes, most recently confirming that four Turkish women, Hatice Güneş, Hafsa Güneş, Beyza Güneş, and Berire Güneş, escaped on December 21, 2019, from al Hol Camp.

Such incidents “confirm the inability of local authorities to guarantee the detention of foreign jihadists, whether in prisons or in camps, in which mutinies and attempted escape occur regularly,” says Brisard. He goes on to say that they may join the ranks of terrorists currently operating in Syria and Iraq, strengthening them, or disperse to other countries.

They may also head home secretly to plan and carry out further attacks like those that plagued many European capitals in recent years. Brisard’s organization, like many others, advocates for repatriation of these ISIS prisoners held by the SDF so they can be tried by European laws, held securely in Western facilities and if possible be rehabilitated before their ultimate release back into society.

REBUILDING ISIS

When considering these ISIS escapes one should keep in mind that al Qaeda in Iraq pursued a strategy it called “Breaking the Walls” in 2012 to free enough former jihadists to strengthen their ranks. The result: they rose again as ISIS—which was by 2014 the most ambitious and powerful jihadi terrorist group in history.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (who didn’t have to escape from U.S. custody in Iraq a decade earlier, but was released), urged his followers in his final video months before he was killed last October to free ISIS prisoners. Other ISIS supporters have since echoed his call. ISIS men held in al Hasakah prison in SDF territory have rioted multiple times recently, once taking over an entire floor of the prison for several days. Eventually the riots were quelled and the SDF says those who escaped were recaptured.

According to careful instructions given to us before interviewing ISIS prisoners in January 2020, the SDF has tried to keep news of Baghdadi’s speech, and even of his death, hidden from male prisoners. The belief is that if they learned of either they would become more violent, riot or try to escape.

The women, however, clearly are aware. When we visited the SDF camps in August and September of 2019, the prison guards told us the die-hard women enforcers of ISIS were roaming the camps sharing news of Baghdadi’s speech and telling their “sisters” that it wouldn’t be long until their men would come to break them out of the prison.

This news was so frightening to some of the disillusioned women that one German in Al Hol asked me, while trembling in fear, if it was true that ISIS would be coming back to reclaim them.

Amarnath Amarsingam a Canadian counter-terrorism researcher, tweeted a similar observation from his visit to Camp al Hol in October 2019: “Baghdadi speech calling for a prison break had profound impact inside camps/prisons [with ISIS] women feeling ISIS leader still cares about them.”

WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?

While the SDF has been a vital ally for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, bravely fighting on the ground and imprisoning thousands of jihadists, it currently struggles with many challenges trying to hold the captives.

There is severe overcrowding since one prison in a highly populated area was shut down after the Turks bombed it. There are not enough resources to pay the staff. And there’s no clear plan for how to move forward. None at all.

While the SDF has asked repeatedly for Western countries to repatriate their ISIS detainees, there has been little to no positive response from Europeans. In the absence of repatriations, the SDF requested assistance to build and staff new prisons and train guards in state-of-the-art terrorist prison protocols, and also to fund rehabilitation programs. Moreover, they have requested an international tribunal, hybrid court, or, lacking that, support for using local courts to prosecute these ISIS prisoners.

And while the members of the international community, particularly Europeans, have been balking at repatriations, they also have been loath to deal with the SDF directly. Many want to avoid the ire of Turkey, which claims the group is a part of the PKK insurgency recognized internationally as a terrorist organization. European politicians also are reluctant to deal on such sensitive matters with this non-state actor.

U.S. military sources speaking to ICSVE have said many times that they have no evidence of the SDF ever launching attacks into Turkey from Syrian soil, except when they were defending themselves during the Turkish incursion into SDF territory in the fall of 2019. And today, while much of the SDF’s veteran leadership is Kurdish, most of its rank and file is now made up of Arabs, according to a recent report published by The Wilson Center in Washington.

In any case, if ISIS detainees are not to be repatriated there is no question that the SDF needs assistance to hold the detainees securely.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/inside-sister ... 36895.html
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 26, 2020 7:44 pm

"ISIS Governor of Iraq"
killed in Deir ez-Zor airstrike


The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said Tuesday that Mu'taz al-Jubouri, leader of the ISIS group in Iraq, was killed by international coalition airstrike

Al-Jubouri, also known as Hajji Taysir, who is also assistant of the top ISIS leader, was killed in an airstrike in Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria, according to accurate intelligence reports presented by the Iraqi CTS.

The CTS statement said: “We announce the killing of the terrorist Moataz Numan Abdul Naif Najm al-Juburi al-Makani (Haji Tayseer), who occupies the position of the so-called governor of Iraq and the deputy leader of the ISIS terrorist organization for all state affairs and is responsible for planning and coordination of external terrorist operations after a short period of time following the movements of this terrorist The dangerous and its permanent movement inside and outside Iraq, as it was targeted by an air strike by the international coalition aircraft in the Syrian area of ​​Deir Al-Zour, according to accurate intelligence information by the anti-terrorist agency.

The statement added that Jubouri “had more than one passport and identity to move around, and he never used the phone for fear of persecution.”

On May 20, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) said in a statement that it has arrested Abdul-Nasser Qardash, a former candidate to succeed the dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Qardash was one of the most important leaders of ISIS, but the group later chose Abdul-Rahman al-Mawla to succeed al-Baghdadi.
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 28, 2020 10:56 pm

Imprisoned ISIS a great danger

The majority of the international community, especially the EU, has refused to withdraw their ISIS jihadists imprisoned in North-East Syria

In order to find a solution to the problem, the Autonomous Administration has been trying for two years to establish an international court to try ISIS criminals. Victims have repeatedly stressed that the acts of the ISIS should, if possible, be condemned where they were committed.

Lawyers also support this proposal, as this would allow access to crime scenes and the participation of witnesses. However, since nothing has been done by the international community to establish such a court, the jihadists in detention continue to pose a serious threat to both Northern and Eastern Syria.

There are approximately 19,000 ISIS members in 16 prisons in the region. There have been numerous escape attempts and riots in the past two years. The insurgencies are escalating, even though they have so far been contained - as in Tabqa, Hol and Hesekê - with the help of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The imprisoned ISIS jihadists pose a threat to both Syria and the world.

The international coalition also provides very limited support in this context. Although it continues to participate in SDF operations against the ISIS, it has so far provided only training services to guard and secure prisoners.

"We do not know what will become of us"

In an interview with the Rojava based ANHA news agency, detained ISIS jihadists have commented on their situation. The Dutch citizen Yasir Muhammed Abdulazim says: "We do not know what will become of us. We want our verdict immediately. In prison we talk all the time about what may come. We don't know why we are not being put on trial. We want to know what is coming. To this end, we are even willing to die if necessary."

Abdulazim was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1978. At the age of twenty he went to the Netherlands, got married and became a citizen there. He is father of six children and joined the ISIS in 2015. He was injured in Raqqa and arrested by the SDF in al-Bagouz. Although he wants to be convicted, he continues to make threats.

"The situation is getting worse"

Adil Iyab, who comes from India, says: "The majority here in prison come from abroad. We want to go back to our countries. If we are convicted, we can go back home. If we are not convicted, there will be even more chaos." Like the other ISIS jihadists, he too threatens terror and insurrection.
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Re: ISIS growing stronger in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 29, 2020 10:59 pm

ISIS vows to exploit
US drawdown


Islamic State (ISIS) militants will take advantage of the recent US drawdown in Iraq and Syria to increase attacks on “the crusaders”, ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi said in an audio statement published Thursday

In the 33-minute recording released on messaging app Telegram, titled “The Crusaders Will Know Who Will Win in the End”, Qurashi claimed the recent wave of attacks is only the start of a much broader campaign to come.

“Our jihadists will start to increase their attacks against the crusaders since the US has withdrawn from Iraq,” Qurashi said. “Our current attacks are only the start of bigger attacks in Iraq and Syria.”

US forces have withdrawn from several Iraqi bases in recent months as part of a general repositioning in response to successes in the campaign to defeat ISIS and to protect personnel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the space of a month, the US-led coalition has handed over control of six military bases to the Iraq Security Forces (ISF), including Abu Ghraib near Baghdad, K1 in Kirkuk, al-Qaim near the Syrian border, Qayyarah in western Iraq, al-Sqoor in Mosul, and Al-Taqaddum in Anbar.

ISIS views the withdrawal as an opportunity to spread its insurgency.

“Greater punishment against crusaders is coming once the caliphate achieves the victory and is established once again,” Qurashi said, referring to the so-called “caliphate” the group established across the Iraq-Syria between 2014 and 2017.

Addressing the “government of infidels in Iraq” directly, Qurashi vowed not a single day will pass without bloodshed.

ISIS seized control of vast swathes of Iraq and Syria at the height of its power between 2014 and 2016.

Although the group was declared territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017 and in Syria in March 2019, ISIS has continued to launch attacks, including kidnappings, assassinations, and ambushes, particularly in rural areas.

ISIS has been held responsible for a spate of attacks on the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and units of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi.

On May 15, the PMF said four of its fighters were killed and six injured in an ISIS attack in northern Diyala.

In a statement on May 14, the PMF said its units had come under attack in Khanaqin, Jurf al-Nasr (formally known as Jurf al-Sakhir), and on the Syrian-Iraqi border in the Akashat area of western Anbar.

On May 15, the Iraqi defense ministry said two of its soldiers were killed and four wounded when their convoy hit an IED in northern Baghdad province. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the blast.

These follow a spate of attacks in early May, the deadliest of which saw ten PMF fighters killed in a five-pronged assault in Saladin on May 2.

On the same day, militants killed three federal police officers and wounded two others in an attack on Zaghniya police station in Diyala province.

These attacks came immediately after the Iraqi parliament approved the new cabinet of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has made combatting ISIS remnants a cornerstone of his government’s agenda.

In his audio statement, ISIS spokesman Qurashi branded Kadhimi’s administration an “American government” and vowed to fight it just as the group had fought past administrations.

“Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government is an American government and we will fight it same as we fought other Iraqi infidel governments,” Qurashi said. “Iran, infidels of Houthis, and the Iraqi government should be aware that the jihadists will destroy you everywhere in the region.”

However, since Kadhimi took office, three ISIS leaders have been killed in coalition airstrikes in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor.

Iraqi Counter Terrorism Forces (ICT) confirmed the death of senior ISIS figure Mootaz Noman al-Jubouri, known as the wali (governor) of Iraq, in an official statement on Tuesday.

On Friday last week, the US-led coalition confirmed the death of two ISIS leaders in an airstrike.

The strike killed Ahmad ‘Isa Ismail al-Zawi, otherwise known as Abu Ali al-Baghdadi, the terror group’s leader in northern Baghdad, and Ahmad ‘Abd Muhammad Hasan al-Jughayfi, a senior supplies and logistics leader across Iraq and Syria.

Concluding his audio statement, Qurashi addresses ISIS supporters, saying Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, the group’s leader, sends his regards.

Qurashi also says the group will stage mass prison breaks to release ISIS supporters held in Iraq’s jails. A mass prison break could quickly swell the group’s ranks and undo years of counter-terror work.

“Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is sending greetings and pleased with the recent attacks,” Qurashi said. “He asks the jihadists to set free their fellow jihadists inside the prisons and asks the jihadists inside the prisons to be patient and stay awake.”

On May 15, ISIS published a 49-minute video on Telegram – titled ‘Strike the Necks’ – in which a masked militant holding an assault rifle says ISIS will scale up its attacks on Iraqi police and security forces.

“We came to behead you and burn your houses, and I want to let our brothers and sisters in the prisons of infidels know that we have not forgotten you and we ask you to be patient,” the militant says. “We will come for you, because it is an obligation to set you free from the infidels.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/280520201
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Shaswar
Shaswar
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