The threat of ISIS is still present in Iraq

The threat of ISIS is still present in Iraq

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Scenarios are repeating themselves from time to time, as the infiltrations of the terrorist organization of ISIS are increasing, not only in disputed areas between Arabs and Kurds but also in other provinces, which may be messages of proving presence and restoring ranks. Since the declaration of the defeat of ISIS organization by Iraqi government in 2017, It hasn’t any operations that can be described as qualitative, until elements of the Islamic State group attacked on Sunday oil fields in the province of Salah al-Din in northern Iraq, in the first attack of its kind to defeat the group at the end of 2017.

Capt. Saad Mohammed of the Salah al-Din Operations Command ( belong to army ) said that elements from the terrorist “ISIS t attacked with light and medium weapons today the Ajil and Allas fields in Salah al-Din province, but the oil police confronted them and prevented their access to oil sites. ”.

He added that “the attack is the first of its kind since the expulsion of members of the organization from the province at the end of 2017.” He explained that “elements of the organization tried to target the security forces in charge of protecting oil fields in preparation for the storming of the oil area.” Mohammed added that “the region has seen the arrival of military reinforcements in anticipation of any emergency,” pointing out that the attack did not result in casualties from the security forces. Despite the official announcement in 2017 of the defeat of ISIS in Iraq, military commanders assert that the group has sleeper cells operating individually in the liberated areas.
The followers of the Iraqi issue see that the reasons for the return of terrorist operations of ISIS that the terrorist organization has taken advantage of recent reports, in which the US intelligence and the Pentagon warned of the return of the strength of the organization again, to come out with this operation in order to document those reports on the ground and return to the scene again.
They added, that these reports were an early warning from Washington to some Iraqi leaders who want to get the US military out of Iraqi territory, which the organization has been able to use them to its advantage; we do not rule out its repetition and perhaps within the cities, and they see political differences as a major reason for the return of the organization’s operations. The gap inside the Iraqi parliament between the political blocs themselves will be reflected on security in the ground, the differences will include civilian and military officials across the provinces because of their affiliations to those parliamentary blocs and the loss of coordination in the management of cities.
The lack of reconstruction, especially in areas recently recovered from ISIS, is accompanied by increased unemployment among young people, which poses the greatest risk and financier for the organization’s growth and the return of many unemployed to join its ranks, stressing that the government’s disregard for the liberated areas and ignoring to provide employment opportunities through investment companies to launch reconstruction projects will exacerbate the crisis and support the organization with the most important element which is human element due to the confusion and mismanagement resulting from political differences.

Perhaps the economy is the active axis in the equation of the security situation , noting that the sectors of terrorist Daesh have decentralization after 2017, and the operation of the fields of Ajil and Allas isn’t to disperse the will of victory, but is part of its operations in the sector of Salah al-Din to enable the cells of the sector of self-financing .So with this attack , it would threaten fuel carriers companies that would necessarily respond to the payment of royalties imposed by ISIS to finance its elements. ”The equation refers to ISIS’s growth as the gap between Iraqi politicians grows and the liberated cities and surrounding areas remain a battleground for the influence of the most powerful organs at the expense of the innocent people who pay tax.
A Pentagon inspector general said in a report that ISIS is “re-emerging” in Syria as the United States withdraws its forces from the country and has “strengthened its capabilities” in Iraq, according to Agence France-Presse(AFP) . “Despite losing its caliphate on the ground, ISIS in Iraq and Syria has strengthened its armed capabilities in Iraq and resumed its activities in Syria during the current quarter,” the report said .The report added that ISIL was able to “reunite and support operations” in both countries, partly because local forces were “unable to continue to launch long-term operations, carry out several operations simultaneously, or preserve the territory” they had recovered.
ISIS is trying to regain its armed capabilities in Iraq, thus posing a threat to the security and stability of Iraq. Analysts and military experts assert that the elimination of the terrorist organization does not mean that the danger of the organization has disappeared with its ability to move sleeper cells in the areas from which it was expelled in Iraq. The sleeping cells of ISIS are posing a threat to Iraq.
The Committee on Security and Defense in the Iraqi parliament, warned of the danger of the movement of cells “ISIS” in the northern city of Mosul on the security file, and pointed out that the organization succeeded in 2014 in the establishment of a base from Mosul towards the rest of the provinces, and that ISIS cells are active in the right side (western) of Mosul city . It pointed out that the danger is that the western side of the city of Mosul is linked to the areas of Al-Baaj and Al-Jazeera “south and west of Mosul”, which are open areas that extend to the rest of the provinces.
It explained that there are desert areas between the sector of the responsibility of the Nineveh operations command and the sector of the responsibility of the command of the operations of Al-Jazeera and al-Badya in the desert of Anbar province, and they need additional forces to tighten control on it and prevent the activity of the organization. To eliminate the activity of “ISIS”, the Committee considered that the need for large-scale military operations in which the military Aviation to participate in addition to tighten control on the border to prevent infiltrating operations of the elements of ISIS. It pointed out that there is an infiltration of ISIS so far from Syria into Iraq, because the border area is more than 600 kilometers long and has not been fully “security”. According to the committee, the map of activity of ISIS cells is currently concentrated in the western side of the city of Mosul, and areas south of Kirkuk, especially in villages that the displaced people did not return to it so far, in addition to the desert in Anbar province.
“The challenge then will be to try to deal with a group like ISIS as if it were just a military problem,” said Renad Mansour, a researcher at Chatham House. He added “so a military solution only addresses the symptoms, ISIS, but it cannot address the root cause of these groups.” “The challenge we face now is that no one is dealing with these roots,” he concludes.

Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies