The Islamic State group ISIS allegedly killed three troops and hurt four others in an attack in northern Iraq earlier this week.
A military source said the attack happened despite ISIS dwindling in one area in the Middle East since its military defeat in 2019.
The source told the Associated Press (via Dawn) that the terrorists used automatic guns on their barracks in Wadi al-Naft. The said location is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of the city of Kirkuk.
The federal government of Iraq, which controls Kirkuk, and the independent northern region of Kurdistan are at odds over the area where the attack happened.
I.S. took over large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014 and declared a “caliphate” that they ruled until late 2017 when Iraqi forces backed by a US-led military coalition defeated them.
The United Nations says that the terrorists can still use a secret network of fighters to attack both sides of the border.
The international group, per Arab News report, said that I.S. strikes in both Iraq and Syria had gone down.
In March, a top military official in the Shiite-majority country of Iraq said I.S. had between 400 and 500 active troops.
Iraq to Meet Syria Islamic State Group
Officials said in a Rudaw report that Iraqi officials and NGOs met earlier this week to discuss the Islamic State group’s prison camp in northeast Syria, a “supreme security interest” for Baghdad.
Al-Hol in northeast Syria’s Hasaka province holds nearly 50,000 ISIS suspects. Authorities called the facility a “ticking time bomb” for terrorism.
Rudaw, citing state media, said that the Iraqi foreign ministry, the national security advisor, missions, and organizations would meet to discuss the al-Hol camp in Syria.
Last week, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said Iraq has deported over 3,000 ISIS fighters from Syria for trial.
Sahaf repeated his plea for the international community to return their people from the al-Hol camp to close it.
ISIS conquered parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014 but lost power in 2017 and 2019. Despite lacking territorial control, the organization poses a security danger through bombings, hit-and-run assaults, and abductions, especially in rural regions with poor protection.
In 2019, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) conquered ISIS in their last holdout of Baghouz. Tens of thousands of ISIS veterans are in Kurdish jail centers.
Sahaf said the government could transport ten batches of Iraqi families from the Syrian al-Hol camp to the country at a rate of 1,393 families or 5,569 individuals. Their rehabilitation in Iraq has provided a “positive social acceptance” for returning ISIS-linked families.
Human rights groups label northeast Syria’s al-Hol and Roj camps “filthy,” “often inhumane,” and “life-threatening” for thousands of children of foreign nationals accused of ISIS ties.
Iraquis make up more than 50 percent of the camp’s population.
Local tribes have opposed the repatriation of ISIS-linked Iraqis, whose families committed several human rights violations and war crimes.
ISIS-Backed Attack Kept on Dwindling
GIS Reports mentioned that the Islamic State group, which formerly revolved around a leader and a Shura Council, now appears to be a frail organization.
GIS Reports added that international counterterrorism troops had overthrown the ISIS leader four times.
Doubt also remains after ISIS’ new leader, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Quraishi, allegedly died in an anti-terrorist operation in Turkey on 30 April 2023.
GIS Reports also mentioned that the organization continues to have a pyramidal look. But, there needs to be proof of a powerful top-down command.
ISIS nonetheless exhibited two operational traits despite its loss. These include a readiness to conduct large-scale attacks and a propensity for hyperviolence.
Its 2022 attack on a prison in the Hasakah neighborhood of northeastern Syria showed its murderous intentions. The operation, which killed 346 attackers and released 300 prisoners per one report, showed that the group had not abandoned its ideals or learned any lessons.
It must solve the recruitment issue to restore its ranks and foster professionalism and loyalty. Even while it was magnificent, the Hasakah attack demonstrated its limitations.
GIS Reports, citing reports from United Nations and the Global Coalition Against Daesh, noted that ISIS attacks in Syria declined.
It also recorded a 55 percent decrease in operations in 2022.
A fractured chain of command between a leadership focused on large-scale fighting and autonomous cells running their tiny businesses through a blend of gangsterism and religious fiddling is likely the cause of the combination of large-scale attacks and neighborhood harassment.
Israel Bombing ISIS in 2015
Meanwhile, a former IDF chief of staff disclosed on Sunday that the Israeli air force started a bombing campaign against the Islamic State group in 2015.
Gadi Eisenkot, a former IDF commander and current M.P. for the National Unity party, said (per World Israel News) that hundreds of ISIS militants died.
Eisenkot added that Israel made an “extensive attack” against the Islamic State. He said that the attack “hit many ISIS operatives.”
While Eisenkot did not specify which nation the incident occurred in, World Israel News said the incident happened in an area of Syria or Iraq.
Eisenkot claimed that the campaign against ISIS was extensive and superior to any other nation. He continued by saying that the action led to outcomes that sometimes exceeded all expectations regarding the kinds of operations and attacks conducted.
Eisenkot emphasized that the offensive had left a lasting impression on the world’s superpowers and was a tribute to the Israeli military’s strength.
Few nations can locate postage stamp-sized targets and launch a missile at one of them within a 1,000-kilometer range of Israel, he claimed.
U.S. Troops Dying Following 2003 Attack in Iraq
Many U.S. troops died right after the country attacked Iraq in 2003. In an NBC News report, Brookings Institution senior fellow Bruce Reidel said that the death happened during America’s “forever wars.” These are expensive and time-consuming American actions in the Middle East and Afghanistan. It started with the Gulf War in 1990–1991.
After the first invasion of Iraq in 2003, the country’s insurgency ran from 2003 to 2007. Between 2003 and 2007, militia groups in the Islamic State fought against Western presence. After the U.S. beat the Taliban in 2001, the Taliban started a rebellion against U.S. and Afghan troops. In Iraq, the conflict gave terrorist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria a place to grow.
ISIS is still a threat to peace and stability as it keeps links to the global financial system to pay for its violent operations. ISIS Core has leaned on its General Directorate of Provinces (GDP) offices worldwide to give practical advice and money. The United States will continue to name the top leaders of ISIS to stop the terrorist actions of the group.
Hence, Secretary Anthony Blinken said in an official statement that two ISIS GDP leaders are ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists.’
The U.S. official tagged Abdallah Makki Muslih al-Rufay’i, Iraq-based ISIS GDP Bilad al-Rafidayn Office emir, as one of the terrorists.
According to the official statement, Al-Rufay’i previously served as ISIS’s Iraq Province’s wali.
Authorities also identified Sahel-based ISIS GDP al-Furqan Office’s senior leader Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn’ Ali al-Mainuki, as one of the terrorists.