Iraq's Military Intelligence Directorate has dismantled "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) cells operating in Anbar province, a local Anbar official said Friday (March 22nd).
"The directorate's forces have recently achieved outstanding results in taking down ISIS cells and secret members in the province," Anbar provincial council security committee chairman Naeem al-Koud told Diyaruna.
In March alone, 14 militants were arrested in different parts of Anbar who are wanted on terrorism charges and for fighting in ISIS's ranks during the liberation battles, he said.
Two of them were involved in an attack that killed a large number of soldiers in the town of al-Saqlawiya near Fallujah in September 2014, he said.
Also arrested was an ISIS element known as Abu Saraqa, who was in charge of recruiting children for ISIS, he said.
On Thursday, the forces netted an ISIS element in Heet who was in charge of finances and collecting taxes for the group, al-Koud said.
A day prior, military intelligence units arrested the six members of an ISIS terror cell operating in two groups in al-Qaim and al-Karabla.
Spearheading ISIS fight
The Military Intelligence Directorate is "making great progress in carrying out security duties", said al-Koud.
"They have dealt severe blows to [ISIS] by tracking down its elements and sleeper cells using sources that provide accurate information even from uninhabited and remote desert areas," he said.
The directorate's forces monitor the militants' communication devices and online activity to hunt them down, he said. They also rely on citizens' tip-offs and on aerial reconnaissance and drone reports.
"The arrests are carried out with a high degree of professionalism," said al-Koud, adding that ambushes are conducted to capture ISIS elements, while others are caught trying to enter the country with fake documents.
"The terrorists are falling one after the other," he said. "This reflects a major advancement in intelligence work which today spearheads the fight against [ISIS] remnants."