Iraq's military intelligence has arrested the members of two "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) cells in Anbar province this week, the Ministry of Defence said Wednesday (August 28th).
"A force from the Iraqi army's 10th Division and 39th Infantry Brigade has dismantled two ISIS cells involved in planting and detonating improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and carrying out assassinations and armed attacks in Anbar," ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji told Diyaruna.
The intelligence force tracked down and infiltrated the two cells, and captured their nine members after ambushing them in the areas of al-Saqlawiya and al-Khalediya island east of the city of Ramadi, he said.
"The force confiscated the terrorists’ weapons, computers, mobile devices, books and documents about ISIS's activities and operations," he said, noting that the detainees were wanted under article 4 of the anti-terrorism law.
Improved intelligence work
The operation is part of the fourth phase of the "Will of Victory" security campaign launched earlier this week to clear the Anbar desert of ISIS remnants and to track their secret cells in other areas of the province.
One day prior to the operation, the Ninawa Operations Command's military intelligence dismantled an ISIS cell in the city of Mosul, according to al-Khafaji.
The cell's members, who were arrested in the neighbourhood of Sumar and in southern al-Qayyarah, had taken part in a number of terrorist acts against civilians, as well as oil smuggling operations, he added.
"At least four terrorist cells have been dismantled over the past week in the cities of Mosul and Ramadi," he said, with each cell comprising between four and five elements wanted for belonging to ISIS and for committing crimes against innocent people.
"Penetrating a large number of cells in such a short period of time is a clear indication that [Iraqi] intelligence work has grown and made progress in monitoring, tracking and capturing terrorist targets," he added.
Iraqi forces "will not allow covert ISIS members to move about", he said, stressing that they will keep monitoring and targeting them until they all receive "just punishment for their horrific acts".