Iraq's Army Chases ISIS in North Baghdad
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior said it has arrested five ISIS members, including a high ranking official, while the Iraqi army announced that it carried out a military operation to search vast areas in north Baghdad and clear out ISIS cells there.
The ministry revealed in a statement it released on Thursday that it had arrested four terrorists who were providing logistical support to ISIS groups and had confessed their terrorist crimes during preliminary interrogations.
The military press said that “under the direction of the Prime Minister and the supervision of the joint operations command”, a large-scale security operation was carried out in North Baghdad.
The Ministry of Interior said that the First Division and its intelligence service took over a missile launching platform in the al-Anbar governorate. A statement released by the Ministry announced that “Based on accurate information . . . [they] were able to reach a missile platform” and confiscated various types of missiles.
This operation came days after the al-Dora operation that had been carried out by the anti-terror agency and in which 14 members of the Iraqi “Hezbollah Brigades” were arrested for firing missiles on the green area and Baghdad international airport. Nevertheless, 13 of these members were released while one was kept in detention after confessing to the accusations.
As for the operations that the Iraqi army is conducting from time to time to chase down ISIS cells, security expert Dr. Motazz Muhieddine, Head of the Republican Centre for Strategic Studies, told Asharq Al-Awsat:“The problem in the areas where there are ISIS cells” is that the forces responsible for security there “are too few, and are not entirely ready to confront ISIS”.
Muhieddine added: “The other important issue is that there is no coordination among the military operations command despite being under the General Commander of the armed forces”.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Security analyst Fadel Abu Rghif said: “ISIS has a plan to return to battle despite the losses it has incurred over the last years”, clarifying that, “the terrorist organization is trying to benefit from several factors to continue to operate, including prisoners being released in Syria in exchange for money and the fact that Iraqi-Syrian border, particularly west of Nineveh, is not entirely under control.”