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ISIS growing stronger and more organised 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 and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:23 pm

ISIS attack PMF in Diyala

Three members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) were killed and five others wounded in overnight clashes with Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Diyala province on Thursday morning, the PMF’s media office has said

ISIS attacked a security checkpoint of the PMF’s 28th brigade, 28 kilometers north of Khanaqin in Diyala province late on Wednesday, according to a statement shared to Twitter and Telegram on Thursday morning.

ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack via its Telegram propaganda channels.

The PMF, an umbrella network of Shiite militia groups, was formed in 2014 in response to a fatwa issued by Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, urging young Iraqis to take up arms against ISIS.

The brigade’s official Facebook page published the names and photos of its fighters killed in the attack.

Last week, ISIS claimed in its weekly propaganda newspaper al-Naba that it had conducted 13 operations in Iraq from February 4 to 10, killing and injuring 24 people.

ISIS has attacked PMF forces several times this year, particularly in territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including Diyala, where ISIS sleeper cells thrive.

On February 2, five members of the PMF were killed in a clash with ISIS militants in Diyala, according to state media and the PMF.

On January 24th, at least 11 fighters from PMF were killed in an ambush by ISIS in Salahaddin.

Since the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in late 2017, the role of the PMF has increasingly been called into question, with some demands to withdraw units garrisoned in northern areas and fully integrate them into the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/18022021
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:45 am

10 ISIS bases destroyed

The Global Coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) bombarded the group’s bases on Mount Qarachogh, destroying 10 bases in 24 hours, a Peshmerga commander said on Thursday

Ten ISIS bases, some of which had tunnels, were destroyed in a bombardment which began on Wednesday evening, Sirwan Barzani, commander of Peshmerga forces’ Gwer-Makhmour front, told Rudaw.

“The bombardment was conducted in cooperation with Peshmerga and Iraqi forces. During the period, ISIS was bombarded 28 times but no casualties have been reported,” said Barzani.

The mountain is located near the disputed town of Makhmour, in Erbil province but disputed between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). It has been a safe haven for ISIS sleeper cells - thanks to the security gap between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces, as well as the rugged landscape.

ISIS controlled swathes of Iraq in 2014 but was announced territorially defeated in late 2017. Sleeper cells continue to conduct regular attacks across the country.

Six ISIS suspects were arrested in Kirkuk and Diyala, military spokesperson Yehia Rasool said on Thursday, adding that jets also bombarded ISIS fighters on Mount Hamrin in Diyala province.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/110320213
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:06 am

ISIS responsible for family killing

The Islamic State (ISIS) late on Friday claimed responsibility for the murders of six members of one family in Salahaddin province, accusing the family of spying. A police officer and a lawyer were also killed by the militants in the same village

Thursday night, eight people – six members of one family, a lawyer, and a police officer – were killed in al-Boudur village near Tikrit. The armed killers were wearing Iraqi security force uniforms and pretended to be searching houses, according to a statement from the Security Media Cell late on Friday.

The Cell identified the main perpetrator as a former resident of the village who had been expelled for alleged links to ISIS. “He came to take his revenge,” the Cell stated.

The eight victims were buried on Saturday morning. A large crowd attended the funeral, including security officials.

ISIS, on a propaganda channel on Telegram late Friday, claimed responsibility for the murders, including of female members of the family. It accused members of the family of spying for the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic). It added that the police officer and the lawyer were killed for alleged links to the government.

The terror group also released photographs of the victims before they were killed and identity documents of one of the victims, a 41-year-old police officer.

Some of the victims from the family were members of the PMF, Farhan Khadhir, a PMF commander in Tikrit, told Iraqi state media.

Interior Minister Othman al-Ghanimi was part of a delegation sent to Tikrit by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to investigate the murders. “There are calls from the people of the area to change sections [of the security forces] and change the security plan,” the minister told reporters. He said he has discussed the issue with Kadhimi and, “there will be a solution, inshallah.”

Salahaddin is a predominantly Sunni region. Areas of the province, along with Anbar, Nineveh and Diyala in the north and west, fell to ISIS when the group swept through Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. ISIS militants remain a security threat in the area.

Iraqi security forces conduct frequent operations against ISIS in Salahaddin, with the backing of the US-led Global Coalition against ISIS.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/130320212
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:23 am

ISIS has revived after Turkish invasion

“As the SDF, we promise that we will protect our people, our land, our achievements and the Autonomous Administration system in which all differences live together," said SDF Commander Sayil Al-Zobei at the anniversary of liberation of Baghouz from ISIS.

Speaking at an event organized to mark the anniversary of liberation of Baghouz from ISIS, SDF Commander Sayil Al-Zobei said, “ISIS has revived following the Turkish state's invasion attacks in the region. This situation reveals the relationship between the Turkish state and ISIS.”

Al-Zobei pointed out the following: “As the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), we have been fighting ISIS gangs for 7 years. We launched liberation offensives in Kobanê, Manbij, Tabqa, Raqqa and, finally, Baghouz. We liberated Baghouz paying a great price. In the last 7 years, thousands of our fighters have used their bodies as a shield to end the darkness of ISIS and ISIS has been defeated. We cleared the last piece of land it had. But our struggle still continues against what is left of ISIS. There are many radical gang groups influenced by ISIS. These gangs are attacking us, notables and Autonomous Administration employees”.

CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TURKISH STATE AND ISIS

Al-Zobei continued, “After the Turkish state invaded Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî, ISIS activity in the region has increased. This shows that there is a close relationship between the Turkish state and ISIS. The Turkish state organizes these gangs to attack our lands and deploys these gangs to countries such as Libya, Azerbaijan and Yemen."

'ISIS THREAT COULD BE ELIMINATED BY SUPPORTING THE AUTONOMOUS ADMINISTRATION’

Underlining that the ISIS detainees and the families staying in the Hol camp still pose a great danger, Al-Zobei recalled that the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has repeatedly called for the establishment of an international court, but this call has not yet received a positive response. Al-Zobei said that the SDF continues its operations against the cells of ISIS uninterruptedly.

“Our people and the world should know how difficult this process is. There are many factors for a complete destruction of an organization like ISIS. Social and military forces can jointly do this. Regional and international states should fulfill their duties regarding the ISIS detainees and their families staying in the camps. The danger of ISIS can only be eliminated by supporting the Autonomous Administration in fields such as security, politics, economy and construction. The Autonomous Administration fought against ISIS at a time when everyone left the region.”

‘WE WILL CLEAR SYRIA OF TERRORISTS’

Al-Zobei concluded his speech as follows: “As the SDF, we promise that we will protect our people, our land, our achievements and the Autonomous Administration system in which all differences live together. The Autonomous Administration is the guarantee for all peoples and beliefs in Syria to live together. We deeply feel the pain of all peoples affected by ISIS attacks. We will stand by the states that fight ISIS. We will cleanse all regions of Syria of terrorists.”
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:38 pm

125 ISIS arrested in al-Hol

Kurdish security forces arrested 125 Islamic State group (ISIS) members in a five-day sweeping operation in al-Hol camp, authorities announced on Friday

Twenty of the ISIS members arrested were leaders within the camp and responsible for a wave of murders this year. Security forces also seized “military supplies” and “electronic circuits used in explosive devices,” Ali al-Hassan, spokesperson for the Asayish (internal security forces), said in a press conference in al-Hol.

Security forces, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), launched a major campaign on March 28, sending more than 5,000 troops into al-Hol camp, which is troubled by insecurity. The camp houses an estimated 61,000 people from dozens of countries, the majority of whom are family members of suspected ISIS fighters.

They have been interned in the camp since the territorial defeat of the group two years ago. Two thirds of the camp’s population are children. The camp has been described as a humanitarian disaster and a potential breeding ground for extremism.

Col. Wayne Marotto, spokesperson for the US-led coalition against ISIS congratulated the SDF and Asayish "on a successful operation" to "bolster safety and security" in al-Hol camp.

According to Hassan, more than 47 people have been murdered inside al-Hol this year. Despite the large numbers of arrests in what was the first phase of a campaign, “the danger in al-Hol camp is not over yet,” said Hassan.

“The success of our operation created a safer and more stable environment in al-Hol camp. This will not last long without international support. It is now time to seize this opportunity and come up with a long-term solution together,” said Hassan, calling on foreign governments to repatriate their nationals being housed in the camp.

Many foreign governments, in Europe in particular, have resisted bringing their citizens home, citing security concerns. So far, most repatriations have been of children.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /020420211
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:46 pm

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ISIS leader death sentence

An Iraqi court sentenced an Islamic State(ISIS) leader to death on Monday for committing a massacre against a Sunni tribe in Anbar province in 2014

The Supreme Judicial Council said that al-Karkh criminal court had sentenced Ammar Mahdi al-Jubouri to death in accordance with the 2005 Counter-Terrorism Law.

According to Article Four of the law, anyone found guilty of committing a terror offense is given the death sentence, with life imprisonment given to those who assist or hide those convicted of terrorism.

According to the council, Jubouri was an ISIS leader in Fallujah, and participated in the ISIS massacre against the Albu Nimr tribe, which stood against ISIS as it swept across Anbar and other parts of Iraq.

More than 600 people died in the massacre, tribal leaders told the BBC.

Sheikhs accused the Iraqi government of abandoning them after fighting ISIS for 13 days, before they ran out of ammunition.

“The government abandoned us and gave us to ISIS on a platter,” Sheikh Naeem Al Gaoud told the BBC.

Iraq is one of the world’s top four executioners, after China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, according to Amnesty International, which recorded 100 executions in the country in 2019.

Since the rise of ISIS in 2014, thousands of people have been detained across Iraq for suspected links to terrorist groups, including ISIS, while hundreds have been executed.

At least 41,049 people are imprisoned in Iraq, including 22,380 convicted on terror-related charges, according to a document obtained by Rudaw on January 17 from the Ministry of Justice's Iraqi Reform Department.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/120420212
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun May 30, 2021 8:47 pm

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ISIS executed Kurdish hostage

A Kurdish policeman from the Kurdistan Region’s Garmiyan administration was executed by the Islamic State (ISIS), a family member confirmed to Rudaw English on Sunday

Jalal Baban, a policeman from a village near Qara Tapa in Diyala province, was kidnapped by ISIS in November 2019 while cultivating farmland with his cousin Hassan Bali, who was later released after his family paid $57,500.

ISIS released a video of Baban’s execution on Saturday. His cousin Ziyad Faiaq confirmed his death, but said the video is said to be six or seven months old, according to information from the police.

He also refuted a statement given to Rudaw from Garmiyan’s police force on Saturday, claiming Baban was executed after his family failed to meet demands from the terror group.

“My uncle had kissed his [ISIS gunman] hand and told him ‘I will give you $10,000’ but they refused to give him back, then he said ‘I will give you $100,000,’ but they told him ‘we will not give him back even if you fill the face of earth with money’ because he is a policeman,” Faiaq told Rudaw English on Sunday.

“They had no other demands. They told us they will release him in exchange for that woman, but they lied to us,” said Faiaq.

Ten months into his captivity, Baban was forced to send voice messages to his family.

In one message, he called on them to persuade authorities to release the wife of an ISIS leader in custody of the Erbil authorities, saying the exchange was his only chance of survival.

“We didn’t hear from him after that,” Faiaq said. “We had no contact with him.”

The woman ISIS was fighting to free was a Yazidi woman forced to marry an ISIS leader, the group reportedly told his family.

Hela Mahlo, from Gir Ozer in Shingal, was one of thousands of Yazidi women taken captive by ISIS militants in August 2014 when the terror group overran the area, launching genocide against the small ethno-religious community.

In 2019, she was arrested by Kurdish security forces in Kirkuk and held for one year and seven months in an Erbil prison. Authorities said they did not know she was Yazidi. Her case rose to prominence and she was released in August 2020 to reunite with her family.

Kurdish authorities have consistently said they do not negotiate with terrorists and that no prisoner exchange has taken place between the Region and ISIS or any other similar extremist group.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/30052021
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jun 30, 2021 9:26 pm

Baghdad market explosion

An explosion took place on Wednesday evening in a crowded market in Sadr City, east of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, which led to the injury of 15 civilians, the Security Media Cell reported

In a statement, the cell said that the explosion, which targeted the Maridi market was caused by an explosive device.

In an interview with Rudaw Correspondent Halkawt Aziz from the site of the explosion, eyewitnesses accused the government of negligence in protecting them and blamed security forces for failing to prevent these explosions.

Maridi market is one of the more popular markets, crowded with vendors and customers with low income.

"I am from Sadr City and one of the October revolutionaries... Since 2003, politicians have controlled our country and destroyed it," an eyewitness told Aziz.

Baghdad experiences explosions from time to time, especially in poor, crowded neighborhoods. Earlier in April, a deadly car bombing in Sadr City killed and injuring 20 people and destroyed five vehicles. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for it.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/300620214
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:01 pm

ISIS members arrested

A number of Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been arrested by the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS), it announced on Saturday, with two arrests made in coordination with internal security forces (Asayish) in Sulaimani

Two ISIS members were arrested “in coordination with the Asayish of Sulaimani province” it said in a statement. Six arrests were also made in Anbar and Kirkuk.

There have been numerous arrests of ISIS-linked members across the Kurdistan Region before. In April, Sulaimani’s Asayish announced the arrest of 22 suspected ISIS members in a number of towns across the province.

In March, the ICTS announced that it had arrested six ISIS militants across several provinces, including in Sulaimani.

ISIS continues to operate in Iraq and territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad despite its territorial defeat in Iraq in December 2017, but remnants of the group continue to wage attacks across the country.

Erbil and Baghdad agreed in May to coordinate on security in the disputed areas by forming joint cooperation centers and launching joints operations. Several centers have already been opened.

A suspected ISIS member was arrested in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil in February.

Five suspected militants were arrested in Erbil in April for reportedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks inside the Region.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/030720211
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:15 pm

Women of ISIS marrying to freedom

Hundreds of foreign women with links to Islamic State in Syria’s sprawling al-Hawl detention camp have “married” men they met online and several hundred have been smuggled out of the facility using cash bribes gifted by their new husbands

The camp’s inhabitants have been sent wire payments totalling upwards of $500,000 (£360,000), according to testimony from 50 women inside and outside Hawl, local Kurdish officials, a former Isis member in eastern Europe with knowledge of the money transfer network and a foreign fighter in Idlib province involved in smuggling.

The practice is a significant security risk inside Syria and for foreign governments who refuse to take their nationals home – but according to many interviewees, getting married is both easy and an increasingly popular escape method.

“Every day I get a man texting me asking if I am looking for a husband,” said one woman from Russia living in the camp. “Everyone around me has got married … although those who are still pro-Isis and pretend to be modest would deny it.”

Approximately 60,000 women and children who poured out of Isis’s last Syrian stronghold when the so-called caliphate fell in March 2019 are now detained in Hawl by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which control the north-east of the country.

Their imprisonment is a rallying cry for Isis supporters across the world, and “marrying” one of the imprisoned women – even in a long-distance, online relationship – has become a badge of honour on the jihadists’ social media networks.

For men, it is a way to raise their social standing and help those in need. Most prospective husbands appear to have roots in Muslim countries but live in western Europe, where they are relatively well-off.

For the women of the camp, it is a way of securing an income that can make life in Hawl more bearable: the money is used for daily necessities such as nappies, food, medicine, phone credit and to pay other women to cook and clean.
Facebook message reading: ‘I have a request … Can I find a wife from the camp committed to religion … I can get her out no matter the cost.’

“I have a request … ” reads one of dozens of similar Arabic language posts on an Isis-friendly Facebook group concerning the camp. “Can I find a wife from the camp committed to religion … I can get her out no matter the cost.”

There are no official estimates for how many women have managed to leave Hawl in this manner. But when Isis-affiliated families first arrived at the camp two years ago, there was little space and families had to fight for tents and resources. Now, some foreigners have been moved to another camp and some have escaped, leaving several rows of the annex housing foreigners totally empty.

It is not clear where most of the escaped women are now, but one woman the Guardian spoke to is now living with her new husband in the former Soviet Union.
How it works

The “marriages” are conducted over the phone. Usually it isn’t necessary for the woman to be on the call: a mediating sheikh says a few verses and then pronounces the groom as her new wali, or guardian, and the bride then receives cash or a new mobile phone as a dowry.

Many of these virtual relationships appear to be charitable in nature, but flirtatious messages and pictures seen by the Guardian suggest some are romantic or sexual. A fighter in Syria’s Idlib province who was killed last month was found to have exchanged sexually explicit messages and pictures with women who said they were in Hawl, according to a source who checked the man’s phone after his death.

Some of the women’s real husbands are still alive in SDF prisons, but they claim they are free to marry because they cannot be sure their husbands are Muslim any more. If their new husband does not deliver on his promises, some are willing to get married more than once.

“My ex-husband promised to support me but then said that he has problems with his job or maybe he was just afraid to send money and get arrested, so I broke up with him,” said one woman in the camp. “I’ve met another guy online now that I am considering marrying, but he is young, so I am not sure he would be able to support me and my kids.”

The hard part is making a union physical. Getting out of Hawl can cost up to $15,000, depending on nationality, how many children are involved and which smuggling method can be afforded.

Escapes are usually organised by brokers in Idlib, the last area of Syria that remains outside the control of the president, Bashar al-Assad – the Kurdish-held north-east has an uneasy, but currently non-violent, relationship with the regime. The operations are arranged along ethnic and linguistic lines: a Russian-speaking broker, for example, will usually only deal with other Russian speakers.

The most expensive way out is by private car, bribing both SDF and Islamist checkpoints until reaching an Idlib safe house. The next best way is to hide in water tankers, buses or other vehicles that enter the camp, with the knowledge of the driver. The cheapest option is to walk out after paying off the guards, or to make a run for it during the night.
SDF special forces keep watch in the vicinity of al-Hawl camp

The SDF is aware of the scale of the problem, and that guards and workers at the camp are either willing to take bribes or are coerced into helping with escape attempts. “Some of the [pre-existing] Isis smuggling network is still operating, but regarding al-Hawl, I think most of them are opportunists: people that are provided with money or face threats,” said Kino Gabriel, an SDF spokesperson.

“One of the truck drivers providing water for the camp was involved in smuggling weapons inside. Eventually he failed, or they were discovered, we don’t know. But a few days later, he was shot.”
The money trail

Hawl was already a miserable place, but since the families of Isis fighters arrived it has become a breeding ground for extremism and criminality. Outnumbered SDF guards have struggled to keep control: guns and knives are now common inside the camp, with 40 murders committed since the beginning of 2021, according to local officials. Seven women in the foreign annex beat and attacked each other with knives last week, and one beheading attempt was made.

Many governments, including the UK’s, are reluctant to repatriate the 9,000 foreign nationals and their children living in Hawl and many women are aware they may face imprisonment at home. If they do not want to wait for Isis to rise again and free them, or have decided they are no longer loyal to the group, the alternative is to raise enough money to bribe guards and leave under their own steam.

Several women in the camp estimated that true extremists only made up about 20%-30% of its inhabitants. It is nearly impossible to tell, however, because so many will talk or act in performative ways in order to attract funding on jihadist social media networks.

The most obvious way for sympathisers to help is by sending cash. Isis supporters around the world, and the inhabitants’ families, send money for daily necessities, which arrives at one of two hawala, or informal wire transfer services, at the camp.

For many families, the priority is boys, who once they reach puberty are supposed to be sent to SDF-run “deradicalisation centres” – in reality, little more than prisons. Rather than risk that, mothers will pay bribes to the guards in order to get their sons out of the camp.

The easiest way of getting a steady income, however, is to find a husband.

Every “marriage” follows the same pattern: a woman in Hawl sets up a profile page on Facebook or Instagram, posting pictures of lions and other ISIS-affiliated iconography, and calls on the Muslim community to save her. Explicitly radical content or conversations with potential husbands can then move over to Telegram, an encrypted app, where it is more difficult to detect terrorist activity.

Husbands send money directly to Turkey via normal wire transfer, or if they are afraid of being detected, a receiver in a second country: from western countries, usually the Balkans or Ukraine. From there, the money goes to Turkey, where it will cross the border as cash, or is sent by hawala directly to Syria.

In February, members of an ISIS cell in Kyiv were arrested after a police raid discovered $13,000 in cash and accounting books recording large amounts of money collected online and then sent to Syria, according to a source with knowledge of the operation.

“The fundraising campaigns often look innocuous at first: to figure out whether they are collecting money for Isis-affiliated families, or possibly the group, you have to follow which accounts are sharing it or liking it on social media. Understandably, it can take a long time for service providers and analysts to identify and distinguish this activity,” said Audrey Alexander, a researcher and instructor at the Combating Terrorism Center at the US military’s West Point academy.

“It’s the same for governments. In the US, for example, the Department of the Treasury appears to have some good insights into some of the major players and actors in these networks and can issue [terrorism] designations. But those measures affect only a few hubs in a complex web of facilitators.”
Life after Hawl

Almost everyone who leaves Hawl heads to Idlib province, 400km (250 miles) away. The other option is to join ISIS sleeper cells in the eastern desert of Deir ez-Zor: according to women in the camp, at least one group of Uyghur teenagers has managed to do so after leaving Hawl.

Idlib is for the most part ruled by a rival jihadist group known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) but the chaos and poverty in the area makes it easy for ISIS to maintain safe houses. The group’s former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was sheltered there at the time of his assassination in 2019 by a smaller jihadist group also at war with HTS.

Some escapees will stay in Idlib, either biding their time until the “caliphate” rises again, or to live with HTS fighters who believe they can reform the Isis women, having sent money to rescue them from Hawl.

Idlib also borders Turkey. For those who want to make it back to their home countries, or join new husbands elsewhere, trying to cross is very dangerous, but possible, with a lot of luck. Fake passports are purchased once over the border.

The influx of Isis-affiliated women in Idlib is not just a security concern for HTS: the new arrivals are also causing familial conflicts. In Facebook tirades, the wives of men who are communicating with women in the camp openly call the Hawl women prostitutes and say the camp is a brothel.

These women flirting make men love them and be all over them [literally: hang on their necks]. They are making fitna [unrest, rebellion] in families ... I have many complaints from sisters ... One woman even went to hospital after she was beaten by her husband after he had a haram talk with one of the camp girls. Women know this is fitna for men. Yet they use them, play at love, but it’s not real love.’

Post by a pro-Isis Russian woman in the camp: ‘Baghuz [the fall of ISIS in Syria] was one of the hardest times. There were people burning alive ... many who stayed to the end became takfir [not Muslim] and became friends with the Kurds. They got naked [not literal, she means taking off their hijab] and started doing harm to Muslim sisters, marrying people from Jabhat al-Nusra [former name of HTS] and Europeans on the phone just to save their asses ... These dirty women don’t understand it’s because of them we lost the caliphate ... Those who betray once will betray again. Those women will pump money from you but in reality you are NO ONE to them. Soon you will see what you have on your hands.’

According to one female former ISIS member, who now lives in Idlib and is married to a foreign fighter with HTS: “Girls from camps write to my husband and try to flirt with him ... I am very pissed at them since they are intentionally trying to break up our family.”

After one woman “married” her new husband by phone and then immediately left him once she arrived in Idlib, boasting about her ruse on social media, some HTS affiliated groups issued orders telling men not to rescue women from the camp. But according to women inside, the practice has carried on unabated.

As long as the camps exist, so too will the flow of money in – and the flow of people out.

Some will be driven by radical ideals; some are just desperate. Women who say they were forced into joining, as well as thousands of children, are also facing the prospect of languishing in Syria’s camps indefinitely.

Mehdia, a 22-year-old Uyghur woman, said she was taken to Syria by her husband when she was 17 and had no idea what awaited her. An escape attempt from Hawl last year was driven by desperation at the appalling conditions and funded by members of the Uyghur community in exile, rather than a new online husband.

She was driven out of the camp in a mini-van but was discovered the next day at an SDF checkpoint. “You have the people who are still radicalised in Hawl, probably they want to get out and to go to Isis,” she said. “But I don’t want to be in Syria at all. I have three kids… It’s not a good place for them.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... to-freedom
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:14 am

ISIS attempt to blow up electricity tower

Security forces thwarted an attempt to blow up an electricity tower in Diyala, Iraq’s Security Media Cell said

"A TNT stick was placed on one of the power transmission towers and it was dealt with by engineering efforts,” it tweeted.

Attacks on electricity towers have become common in recent weeks, especially in the disputed territories where ISIS has exploited a security vacuum.

At least 44 electricity pylons have been targets of terrorist attacks over the past few days, the spokesperson for Iraq’s Joint Operation Command told state media on Sunday, adding that most of them have been repaired.

Salahaddin’s Operation Command announced the formation of a joint crisis cell to shield the electricity pylons in the area against potential ISIS attacks,its head told state media on Monday.

One terrorist was killed by security forces in Diyala province as he was trying to blow up electricity pylons on Wednesday.

In a statement released on Monday, the Ministry of Electricity said that the transmission lines that supply power to Baghdad's al-Karkh water project were targeted, indicating that ISIS attempted to cut off water supplies to nearby populations.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/050720214
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:37 pm

ISIS reorganizes in Turkish zone

According to SDF General Commander Mazlum Abdi, the Turkish occupied zone in Syria is the new main field for the reorganization of the ISIS. He said that a political solution is still not in sight with regard to the Syrian crisis

The terrorist organization ISIS remains a massive threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, as well as beyond the region, said the general commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazlum Abdi, in an interview with the Kurdish channel Stêrk TV. Although there have been successes, such as the crushing of the jihadist militia's territorial rule in its core areas, this is far from giving the all-clear, he said. " ISIS is reorganizing," Abdi warned.

The main field for reorganization, he said, is the Turkish occupied zone in the north and northwest of Syria. "Together with coalition forces, we have carried out some operation against ISIS in Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) and killed its members," Abdi said, without giving further details. He described the occupied zone as the "new headquarters of ISIS" where the attacks against the self-governed areas and beyond were planned. Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî have been under Turkish occupation since October 2019 based on the so-called Sochi Agreement.

With regard to the Syrian crisis, which has now been going on for more than ten years, Abdi said that a political solution is still not in sight. According to him, this is mainly due to the military interests of the regional and international actors in Syria. In particular, he said, Turkey's massive intervention is preventing constructive conflict management. Another important reason is that regime leader Bashar al-Assad wants to return to the time before 2011 and that the Astana format can hardly influence a peace process without the participation of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. He remarked that Damascus must finally come to terms with the idea so that a new and free Syria can be built.

Another topic of the interview was the intra-Kurdish conflict that threatens to escalate in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). "A national war only benefits the Turkish state by clearing the way to crush Kurdish gains," Abdi said and continued, “Problems must be solved through dialogue in order for the commitment to intra-Kurdish unity to succeed. Only as a united people will we be able to defend the gains we have fought for. Accusation because of the Turkish army's attacks in South Kurdistan will not achieve anything. Turkey will not run out of excuses for occupation attempts and invasions and will always attack the Kurds where they have a force or status," Abdi said.

The SDF's position, on the other hand, is clear, he said. "We do not want and will never accept a war between Kurds. And no matter who starts such a war, we will take a stand against it."
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:04 pm

Security Forces thwart ISIS attack

Iraqi security forces on Tuesday dismantled an Islamic State (ISIS) attempt to detonate an essential electricity tower providing power to Baghdad

“A team was formed in light of the information, coordinated with the First Division of the Federal Police. The attempt was thwarted and 8 bombs planted on the four pillars of the tower were seized and dismantled through a technical effort,” Iraq’s security media cell said on Tuesday.

According to the cell, the tower was one of the main transmission lines connecting Baghdad with the Quds electricity station.

Spokesperson to the Coalition Colonel Wayne Marotto also mentioned the attack, saying the attempt “could have blacked out large segments of Baghdad. All to cause an economic crisis in Iraq & threaten the lives of innocent Iraqis.”

The Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed dozens of attacks on Iraq’s electricity grid and threatened other vital infrastructure in its weekly propaganda magazine al-Nabaa, published Thursday.

ISIS claimed to have demolished 68 electricity towers in Iraq, mostly in disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad as well as in the north and west.

Last Sunday, a military spokesperson said at least 44 electricity pylons have been targets of recent terror attacks. Security forces in Diyala province killed one suspected terrorist as he was trying to blow up electricity pylons last Monday.

During a visit to the electricity ministry on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that the issue of electricity does not have a quick solution, however, the government is attempting to implement solutions in the fastest possible way.

Iraq suffers from chronic electricity shortages, especially felt when summer temperatures reach over 50 degrees Celsius. This is caused by multiple factors, including poor government delivery of services, rampant corruption, terror attacks on the power grid, and Iran’s recent cuts of electricity and gas exports because of unpaid bills.

Recent attacks on electricity pylons contributed to a blackout that left millions in central and southern Iraq without power during a heatwave.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/130720212
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:52 pm

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Kurdish authorities in Western Kurdistan, handed over 16 Belgian children and their mothers to Brussels on Thursday, the region’s foreign affairs office told Rudaw English. They are family members of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters

This handover came during a visit to Western Kurdistan on Thursday by a Belgian delegation, led by Eric De Muynck, head of the Syria dossier at foreign ministry.

De Muynck met with Abdulkarim Omar, head of Western Kurdistan’s Foreign Relations Commission, thanking his administration “for the assistance provided to ensure the return of these ten young Belgian children and their mothers to Belgium.”

“My government is continuing to look at how we can provide additional humanitarian support in Western Kurdistan, including by providing medical equipment in the fight against COVID-19 and support to de-radicalization project, with children as a priority,” added the Belgian official.

The Belgian nationals were living at the notorious al-Hol camp in Hasaka city, where nearly 60,000 ISIS-affiliated people are held. Most of the residents of the camp are children.

Kurdish and US officials have made repeated calls on the international community to repatriate their nationals, but only a few countries have responded positively. Most are worried about security concerns and are generally limiting repatriations to children.

There are fears that al-Hol camp is a breeding ground for terrorism

General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), told the American Enterprise Institute in a webinar in late April that children in al-Hol “are being radicalized, and unless we find a way to repatriate them, reintegrate them and de-radicalize them, we're giving ourselves the gift of fighters five to seven years down the road, and that is a profound problem.”

ISIS took control of swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The group was territorially defeated in 2019, however, the militants continue to pose a threat in both countries.

Belgium foreign ministry spokesperson Marie Cherchari told Rudaw English in March that Brussels would soon expand its repatriation of children from al-Hol and the smaller camp Roj because their security situation has "deteriorated."

"The change in policy is based on the reality on the ground. The security situation has deteriorated," Cherchari said.

The Belgian foreign ministry estimated in December 2020 that 73 of its citizens were in the camps, Cherchari said – 14 men, 21 women, and 38 children. Thirteen of the women will be eligible for repatriation, Cherchari explained. Nine of the women have been sentenced by Belgian courts, and four are subject to international arrest warrants.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /160720211
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Re: ISIS growing stronger and more organised in Middle East

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:46 am

Scores killed and injured in Baghdad explosion

An explosion occurred in Baghdad’s Sadr City, on Monday evening, Iraq's Security Media Cell has confirmed

An IED denotated at al-Wahilat market, according to a statement from the cell, saying there are a number of dead and injured.

Nearly 30 people were killed by the blast, medical sources told AFP.

The market was crowded with shoppers preparing for the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Tuesday.

ISIS-affiliated Telegram channels have said a suicide bomber was responsible for the attack.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the arrest of the federal police commander in charge of the area, as well as an investigation into the incident by the Baghdad Operations Command, his spokesperson Yehia Rasool said in a tweet.

President Barham Salih condemned the "heinous crime" in a tweet on Monday evening, describing the attack as "unparalleled cruelty."

"They do not allow the people to rejoice, even for a moment, with security and joy," said the president. It was also condemned by the British embassy.

This is the third explosion in Sadr City this year.

Fifteen people were injured in an explosion which targeted a market in the area on June 30.

Earlier in April, a deadly car bombing in Sadr City’s al-Habibiya neighbourhood killed and injured 20 people and destroyed five vehicles. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Thirty-two people were killed in twin bombings in Baghdad’s Tayaran Square in January, also claimed by ISIS.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/190720212
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