Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IS shows signs of strength in Syria, Iraq

Much of the Western world is focused on the growing threat from an ally of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, with new intelligence suggesting there is reason to worry again about the terrorist group’s origins in Syria and Iraq.

Up to an estimated 10,000 fighters, a tiny fraction of what was at its peak, and operating in small, secret chambers in both countries, the terrorist group, also known as IS or ISIS, provides intelligence and military support. trying to maintain. Officials describe this as a low-level rebellion, with varying degrees of success.

But US military and intelligence officials have warned that the group’s fortunes could begin to turn, which could allow it to retake territory in Syria and Iraq and that its leader could exert greater influence over allies and followers around the world. Huh.

‘Ready to increase activity’

In Syria, in particular, IS is “ready to increase activity … after a period of recovery and recovery,” the Defense Intelligence Agency told the Defense Department’s Inspector General in its recently released quarter on US operations in the region. stated in the report.

The DIA said IS activity began in September with an increasing number of attacks in Syria’s central desert against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The DIA said other targets included fuel infrastructure and supply routes and even Iranian-backed militias.

US military intelligence officials also said there was evidence IS moved some fighters from the central desert to northeastern Syria, where local officials say the militant group is exploring other ways to expand.

“ISIS is not limited to a military presence alone,” Elham Ahmed, acting chairman of the Syrian Democratic Council, told reporters during a visit to Washington last month.

IS’s domination on the people

“Most importantly, ISIS has an intellectual and ideological influence on the people,” Ahmad warned.

“The re-emergence of ISIS is very likely,” warned Ghassan al-Yousuf, co-chair of the Deir al-Zour Civic Council. “They’ve been able to reorganize to raise money to get stronger.”

IS has found fertile ground to recruit in displaced camps such as al-Hol, where some 60,000 women and children live, many of whom are linked to dead or captured IS fighters.

Despite efforts by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, US military intelligence officials warned, IS “has the ability to radicalize, intimidate, recruit and launch attacks.”

US Treasury Department officials further warned that the al-Hol camp remains a central hub for IS finances, which receives and distributes donations from the terrorist group’s supporters around the world.

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Money, supplies and fighters also move freely from Syria to Iraq, where, US officials said, there are indications that the group has carried out “well-planned high-profile attacks” on both Iraqi forces and infrastructure through its safe havens. network has expanded.

For their part, Iraqi security forces have managed some success, most notably the arrest last month of Sami Jasim Muhammad al-Jaburi, also known as Haji Hamid, whom the Pentagon described as “the most senior leader of ISIS”. described as one of the

A Western counter-terrorism official, speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence, called al-Jaboori’s arrest “very important.”

The official added that al-Jaburi as a candidate to potentially replace current IS leader Amir Muhammad Saeed Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla (also known as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurshi) It was seen that al-Mawla should be killed. or captured.

But al-Jaburi could potentially provide Iraq with vital intelligence, with some US officials warning that Baghdad may be limited in its ability to obtain information from him or other high-ranking IS officials who are now in its custody. Huh.

“The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) continue to demonstrate poor operational security, a lack of reliable information on operations against ISIS, complacency, and poor tactical control and coordination of strike assets,” said acting Defense Department Inspector General Sean O’Donnell. Wrote in his report released on Thursday.

‘No significant achievement’

Additionally, the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve reported that Iraqi forces had achieved “no significant achievement” by carrying out anti-IS operations without coalition aid.

Despite such criticism, Iraqi officials this week cited talks with the US and the coalition as saying that all parties are on track to end US combat operations in Iraq by the end of the year.

Pentagon officials have tried to downplay that influence, given the fact that the Iraqi military has been leading the way for some time.

“We continue to coordinate (through ongoing military technical negotiations) with our Iraqi partners on the transition to a training, mentoring, support and intelligence-sharing role,” Pentagon spokeswoman, Commander Jessica McNulty, told VOA via email. keep.” “The United States is committed to maintaining a US military presence in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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