Iraq News
Security

Car bombs, suicide attacks in decline in Iraq

By Alaa Hussain in Baghdad

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Iraq's Federal Police forces seized 23 car bombs during the battle to liberate Mosul from the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria'. [Photo from the Facebook page of Iraqis in London]

Baghdad, once the scene of daily car bomb explosions, has not witnessed any terror attacks in a few months, security experts tell Diyaruna.

This is a sign of the Iraqi intelligence agencies' improved performance and the strong public support for security forces, they said.

The provinces of Anbar, Ninawa and Salaheddine also have seen enhanced security due to the ongoing campaigns to rid them of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

The improved security throughout Iraq is a result of the latest military operations which destroyed most of ISIS's car bomb making facilities and logistical support bases in the country, said security expert Jassim Hanoun.

"This is in addition to destroying the group's infrastructure in big battles, the latest of which was the battle to liberate Mosul," he told Diyaruna.

Development of the Iraqi forces' intelligence capabilities has contributed to limiting the number of car bombs, by uncovering their supply lines between cities and destroying many of the weapons and ammunition caches where they were manufactured, he said.

Another driving factor behind increased security is the "dwindling popular support for ISIS", said Hanoun, as the group has lost the logistical support provided by citizens who previously collaborated with it.

Whatever popular support remains for ISIS is "too negligible to have any real impact", he said.

Improved relationship

Sheikh Qatari al-Samarmad al-Obeidi, a commander in the tribal forces in Anbar province, lauded the popular support for the security forces, which has played a crucial role in limiting extremist groups' ability to carry out car bomb and suicide attacks.

The relationship between the people of Anbar and their security forces has drastically changed in the past few years, he said, with more and more people supporting their security forces and both sides collaborating on maintaining peace and stability.

Co-operation between residents and the army, local police and tribal mobilisation forces, "has now become evident", said al-Obeidi.

Periodic meetings are conducted between both sides to assess that support and enhance it based on information provided by the locals, he said.

Iraqis now consider security to be "a red line that is not to be crossed nor compromised", he said, "especially the people of Anbar who still hold bitter memories of displacement, harassment and murder at the hands of ISIS".

Stable political conditions

The relatively stable political conditions in the country have played an important role in stabilising the security conditions and the resulting dramatic drop in car bomb attacks throughout Iraq, said Salaheddine provincial council chairman Khalid al-Khazraji.

"Political strife allows terrorist elements to find supporters who will help them launch their attacks and justify their ideological deviation," he said.

"They also find in such conflict a big opportunity to instigate chaos in the country," he added.

Now that the political scene is not as charged, extremists lost their justification to spread their extremist agenda to the Iraqi public, said al-Khazraji, and as a result, "they are cornered and unable to move around freely like before".

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