photo: Eddy van Wessel


Monday, December 3, 2018

Is the 'Islamic State' making a comeback in Iraq?

The Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq says that IS is rising like a phoenix from the ashes. The organization is regrouping, filling the void left by its quarreling adversaries. Judit Neurink reports from Irbil and Mosul.

West-Mosul is trying to return to life  PHOTO JUDIT NEURINK

A car bomb kills five in the Iraqi town of Tikrit. Iraqi troops call in air strikes on "Islamic State" (IS) tunnels in the Badush mountains. Four people are killed in the first deadly bombing in western Mosul since the city was liberated over a year ago. Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces say they have arrested 52 terror suspects in Mosul, including senior IS members. Three IS hideouts are destroyed, and 10 militants are killed in Iraqi airstrikes on Diyala and Salahuddin provinces.

These are just a few examples of recent attacks carried out by or against the group. The declaration that IS was totally defeated in Iraq made by then Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi in December 2017 "was a lie," says Kurdish Major General Aziz Weysi Bani of the Zeravani forces.

These Kurdish special forces played an important role in the battle in Iraq against IS, which cost over 1,800 Kurdish fighters their lives. The Kurds teamed up with the Iraqi army and Shiite militias on the ground, with the international coalition forces providing air cover and training.

Now Weysi is raising the alarm: IS is still a major threat, even more so because the world mistakenly thinks the group has been destroyed in Iraq and will soon be finished in Syria too. "Nobody understands the threat better than we do," he told DW, citing experience and trustworthy intelligence.

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