Iraq News

Ninawa police augment presence in Mosul

By Khalid al-Taie


Iraqi policemen from the Ninawa Liberation Forces attend a training session at the Speicher military base on March 9th, 2016. With the recapture of Mosul in July 2017, the police are turning their attention to maintaining security in the city. [Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

Ninawa province police on Friday (October 20th) began implementing a new plan to protect Mosul from "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) infiltration.

The security plan includes a redeployment of police units in the city and an increase in the number of operations to track and arrest wanted militants.

"We have redeployed our combat forces, consisting of emergency units, in all Mosul neighbourhoods and entrances," Ninawa police chief Brig. Watheq al-Hamdani told Diyaruna.

These forces are making intensified efforts to track down and arrest ISIS elements who are in hiding, he said, noting the arrest this week of "25 terrorists involved with ISIS".

The arrests were based on court orders backed by witness testimonies and evidence implicating the detainees, he said.

Police stations reopened

Most of the police stations in Mosul have been reopened and "are today working to carry out their duties in maintaining security, combating crime, and facilitating citizens' affairs", al-Hamdani said.

They co-ordinate their efforts with the Ninawa Operations Command and other military and intelligence units, he said.

"We try not to stagnate, but seek to change and update our plans now and then, according to developments in the security situation and the new conditions created by the liberation process," he added.

"We perform our work with a high level of skill and professionalism," he said, noting that "Mosul today enjoys a very good state of security."

The local population has been contributing to maintaining security in the city, he added, by reporting on the hiding places of terrorist cells, cars and suspects.

"Thanks to this co-operation and joint security work, we will not allow any terrorist presence in our areas, nor any threat to our security and our citizens’ lives," he said.

Police recruitment efforts

Recruitment efforts are under way to augment the police presence in Mosul, al-Hamdani said, adding that the police force will soon be inviting people to enlist.

"We currently have about 13,000 provincial police members carrying out combat and police duties," he said.

"We hope to increase that number to 20,000," he added. "But we are now working with what we have, and with high flexibility to be able to meet our security obligations."

Iraqi forces on July 11th regained control of Mosul after nine months of heavy fighting with ISIS.

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