It seems that Iraq is in the midst of a new crisis, caused by the spread of the Corona virus and all the security, economic and political changes imposed in Iraq and other parts of the world to combat the infectious virus. As well, the threat of terrorist organizations in the country is increasing, by the groups’ attempts to rearrange their ranks and achieving progress and gaining more ground, exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the novel coronavirus.
Such a threat seemed obvious in the statement of the Iraqi Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani, confirming that ISIS terrorist operations in Iraqi cities are escalating.
He is observing that ISIS has become a threat again, and this matter should be discussed with the Iraqi government and the international coalition forces to combating ISIS.
He addressed officials in Iraq’s capital, noting that they had not yet realized the intensity and quality of danger: “Unfortunately, Baghdad has not taken ISIS threats seriously until now, and the coordination does not rise to the level of the threat posed by ISIS.”
In conjunction, an Iraqi security source confirmed that the new leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, has recently entered Iraq and according to Iraqi media reports, security forces are investigating to find his whereabouts.
Meanwhile, several reports confirmed that ISIS is exploiting the global preoccupation with the Corona pandemic crisis, particularly in Iraq, by conducting several organized terrorist operations in terms of timing and objectives during the past few weeks.
A security source indicated that the attacks carried out by ISIS were ineffective and targeted military points and areas belonging to clans who had assisted Iraqi forces in the war against ISIS during the past years.
The new Iraqi ISIS leader is the godfather of the organization’s extremist ideology, and he has a black history of abusing civilians and committing violations against women and children, especially Yezidis, against whom he led a violent crackdown during the terror group’s control in large swathes of Iraq.
Intelligence information reveals that joining ISIS was not al-Qurashi’s first experience of extremism, as he had been involved in al-Qaeda in Iraq before.
He was born to a Turkmen family, originated from the town of Talafar in Nineveh.
The Iraqi Turkmen are originally Turk tribes, still having mutual cultural and linguistic links with the Turk ethnicities in Central Asia.
A security source in Iraq reported April 19, that five members of the army forces were killed and wounded in an ISIS attack targeting an army security point in the outskirts of Bani Saad district, 18 km southwest of Baquba.
The source told Shafaq News, that ISIS militants attacked an army post 5 km south of Bani Saad, where they clashed with the soldiers and exploded an IED, targeting another army group heading to the scene for support.
The source added that the second attack resulted in the death of two soldiers and the injury of three others, including an officer, without confirming any casualties among ISIS members.
On the other hand, Iraqi forces have thwarted an ISIS attack against the federal police southwest of Kirkuk.
The Pro Mobilization Forces media stated that a force of the 16th Brigade in the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Federal Police killed two members of ISIS on April 19, as they were thwarting a terrorist attack against the federal police southwest of Kirkuk.
On April 20, a PM force thwarted an ISIS attack between Diyala and Salah al-Din. “A force of the Brigade 21 has thwarted an attack launched by 13 ISIS members in the area of al-Aith between Diyala and Samarra, forcing them to flee without reporting any casualties,” the Brigade’s commander Khodeir al-Matrouhi said to Shafaq News agency.
Al-Matrouhi has warned of the increasing number of ISIS members and their terrorist activities in the area between Diyala and Salahuddin, pointing out that all of them have fled to other cities, escaping the intelligence and security operations.
In the past few weeks, unknown attacks increased, likely launched by ISIS militia, especially in the rugged region between the provinces of Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Diyala, known as the Triangle of Death.
Iraqi forces are working on determining the structure of recent attacks, which can reveal their starting for monitoring the above mentioned Iraqi regions.