Is there a return of ISIS?

Is there a return of ISIS?

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Many politicians, government officials, security agencies and military institutions are talking about the great achievement achieved by defeating terrorism in Iraq and eliminating fighters and leaders ISIS and expelling them from the centers of cities, districts and regions, and impose security control over their defeated remnants and their organizational bases and follow-up movement and the presence of the remaining sleeping cells .

In spite of all these measures and follow-up and continuation of security and intelligence plans and  presence of  security channels to follow up the fighters of ISIS and reduce their presence or return again to carry out their activities and actions and carry out terrorist operations, but the reality on the ground and the  fact felt by many citizens in the places where the fighters of this terrorist organization are active and try to restore confidence with some of his elements ,  it was able to carry out some of the organized operations of terrorist nature, which are one of the features of his movement and his style of attack and confrontation and find gaps through which it can move and makes use of weak or lack of security measures in some of the important areas and the state of carelessness and lack of attention of some fighters of the security and military forces and popular crowd fighters in several cities and districts that have witnessed military confrontations with ISIS during the past four years.

In a follow-up to the field and with special information obtained by the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies (CCRS) through its follow-up to the activities of this organization, a group of terrorist gangs of ISIS , on the evening of June 17 , which takes the Hamrin mountain chain as a HQ for it ,  has managed to infiltrate to appoint called ( Anjata) , on the linking road between Kirkuk and Baghdad and this point lies south of the city of Tuz Khurmato and they managed to take control of it and  set up  a security barrier, and they disguised themselves as members of the federal police wearing their clothes . They conducted searches of citizens for 20 minutes and then withdrew to areas where they were in safe hiding. During the period of the setting up a security barrier they were able to stop 3 cars with a number of citizens , two of them were killed and kidnapped four others, taking advantage of the security gap, which they had already taken control on it during the month of March because of its geographical nature as it overlooks and oversees a mountain chain and surrounded by a number of valleys which enable fighters of ISIS to move freely and move without facing confrontation, taking advantage of the withdrawal of the military patrol in charge of protecting the road, which was present daily to protect this road. During the process of withdrawal of fighters of ISIS and after the arrival of security information for military units in the region , they managed to send a military force to follow -up elements of Daesh and were able to clash with them and killed two terrorists of them and freeing one of the kidnapped citizens.

That this incident and other similar incidents that occurred during the past months confirm the following facts:
1. The violations and security gaps exploited by Da’ash fighters come because of the weakness of the security procedures and their lack of smoothness and continuity of its activity, which is supposed to receive the attention of the military and security leaders on the main roads linking the provinces of Kirkuk – Salah al-Din – Baghdad, especially that it has been repeated several times and in certain places.
2. The incident referred to was occurred specifically in the area linking the borders of the provinces of Salah al-Din – Diyala but the Iraqi media indicated that the incident occurred in the province of Kirkuk and this is not true and accurate and contrary to the facts on the ground and the purpose of leaking a misleading information is to suggest to others the seriousness of the security situation in Kirkuk and comes within the conflicts and disagreements and interruptions between many of the blocks and political parties located in the province of Kirkuk or nearby.
3. This incident was preceded by the fact that many Iraqi politicians referred to the resumption of the ISIS to carry out its subversive and terrorist acts using of dormant cells, especially in the outskirts of the Samarra district of Salah al-Din province and the surrounding area of Kirkuk province on a daily basis, and the security military forces and the popular crowd fighters are to confront them and reduce their attacks and sabotage activities.
4. There are many infiltrations of ISIS fighters from the regions of al-Jazeera (island ) and east of the Euphrates towards the provinces of Iraq, and this is reported by the US Department of Defense stating that the activity of ISIS has returned to Iraq at levels similar to the years 2010-2011 and that recent attacks of ISIS show a high flexibility in the structure of the organization.
5. The presence of elements of ISIS are working for presence in areas that have not been fully controlled by the security forces in the Hamrin mountain chain and areas (Ghara and Balkana village and Daquq district) and carry out offensive operations on the main line linking between the provinces of Salah al-Din – Diyala in addition to the district of Tuzhkurmato despite the deployment of security in this district.
The year 2017 witnessed the defeat of the terrorist organization “Da’ash” in Syria and Iraq, after announcing the establishment of the Caliphate in 2014, which is equal in size with Britain. The British Independent newspaper wondered what would the year of 2018 bring to the organization, especially after a year in which it suffered the biggest loss since its inception. The newspaper pointed out that the “ISIS ” is not just an extremist religious group, which made him so dangerous that in addition to his wealth, most of its leaders are of a high degree of military skill, which developed after a decade of fierce wars. The newspaper added : the organization’s leaders expected that they would lose many of the areas they controlled, as they would not be able to withstand facing a ground offensive supported by the International Alliance in Iraq and the Russian air force in Syria.

They took into account the shift to guerrilla warfare, in which they would rely on surprise attack and ambushes, along with terrorist attacks to terrorize civilians. It was the same way al-Qaeda relied on to survive after the defeat in Iraq by Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition in 2006 and 2007, according to the Independent. And the organization retreated to the Iraqi desert, and waited for the appropriate opportunity to reappear, which came at the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011. The newspaper wondered and we wonder: Will the organization of ISIS return again?

Iraqi Studies Unit

Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies