Daesh steps up attacks in Iraq, Syria

TEHRAN, Jan. 24 (MNA) – Terrorists affiliated with the Daesh terrorist group have stepped up their attacks simultaneously in Iraq and Syria, raising fears over the resurgence of terrorism in a politically divisive atmosphere in Iraq.

Eleven Iraqi soldiers were killed in the early hours of Friday in an attack carried out by Daesh. The attack took place in the Diyala governorate, eastern Iraq. It happened out of the blue. The Daesh terrorists raided an Iraqi Army barrack in the Al-Adhim county and killed all the troops stationed there including a number of officers. The attackers escaped after the attack. 

The attack was remarkable in terms of casualties. Iran announced the defeat of Daesh in 2017 and since then the terrorist group had been unable to mount large-scale attacks, though it continued its hit-and-run raids in regions over which Iraqi armed forces lack tight control. 

Daesh has increased the pace of its sporadic attacks in Iraq in recent months, operating from safe havens away from the eyes of the authorities. Diyala was its favorite theatre where a series of attacks raised alarm bells in Baghdad. In late December, released footage showing an Iraqi officer with the Iraqi Interior Ministry being decapitated. The officer, named Yaser al-Jourani, had been abducted by Daesh while on a hunting trip a week earlier. 

In October last year, Daesh sought to play on sectarian disputes in Diyala. It launched bloody attacks in the governorate that sparked sectarian violence. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said at the time that Daesh was looking for a foothold in Diyala.

Iraqi security forces launched counterattacks to eliminate the threats posed by Daesh. 

Daesh also went on a rampage in neighboring Syria, where it is fighting a bloody battle with Kurdish forces in the Syrian city of Al-Hasakah. Daesh forces attacked a prison in the city to release their fellow terrorists.

Over 120 people have been killed in the fight over the control of Ghweran prison in Hasaka, northeast Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The fighting continued for the fourth consecutive day in northeastern Syria between Daesh and the Kurdish forces, which are responsible for Ghweran prison, which includes more than three thousand suspected members of Daesh.

Some Daesh inmates have fled the prison. 

Syria’s Foreign Ministry has condemned “the actions that led to the displacement of thousands of Syrian citizens in Al-Hasakah Governorate and increased their suffering.”

In Iraq, the government is taking precautionary measures to prevent any Daesh attacks. Iraqi security forces closed down the entrances to the capital Baghdad as security measures were tightened.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Armed Forces Command had previously stated that the border would be completely secure as security measures were tightened along the Iraqi-Syrian border after a number of Daesh terrorists escaped from the Hasakah prison in Syria.

The Iraqi official also stressed that the remnants of Daesh are not capable of confronting Iraqi forces and are in no way a threat to the security apparatus.

The reoccurrence of Daesh attacks came at a time when Iraqi political factions are going through intense talks to appoint a president and form a new government in the coming weeks. Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose factions won the greatest number of seats in the recent parliamentary elections, has not reached an agreement yet with other Shia factions over who would be the next prime minister of Iraq. 

Some observers have posited that Sadr may need to hammer out a deal will his Shia rivals soon given the gravity of the security situation. 

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 183221


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