Iraq News

Iraqi forces dismantle ISIS cell in Sulaimaniya

By Khalid al-Taie


Nine ISIS elements were arrested by Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) on September 29th in Sulaimaniya province. [Photo courtesy of the CTS]

Iraqi forces have arrested nine members of an "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) sleeper cell in Sulaimaniya province, Iraq's military spokesman Yahya Rasul said in a statement Tuesday (September 29th).

The Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), in co-ordination with the Sulaimaniya counter-terrorism unit, arrested the militants, who belong to the group's "Wilayat Iraq - Southern Sector", he said.

"The detainees had warrants issued for their arrest according to the provisions of article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Law," he added.

The operation is the latest in a series of special operations by the CTS this month that have so far led to the arrest of 26 ISIS elements.


Iraqi elite forces on September 21st conduct a special operation that led to the arrest of an ISIS element in the city of Mosul. [Photo courtesy of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service]

The arrests Tuesday represent an "important achievement and send a reassuring message" to the Iraqi people that their security forces are vigilant, said retired Brig. Gen. Adnan al-Kanani, a former CTS official.

The operation "reflects the advanced intelligence work of the CTS and the rest of the security services", he told Diyaruna.

Increased co-operation

Since it was defeated three years ago, ISIS has tried to establish sleeper cells inside cities as part of a long-term strategy to threaten security, al-Kanani said. The group also relies on remnants who fled the fighting and found refuge in areas with lax security.

But as a result of the intense security crackdown, the group's network of cells are beginning to disintegrate, he said.

The operation in Sulaimaniya also was the result of co-ordination between the federal government and the Kurdish region. The two sides have increased their co-ordination in recent months, and established four joint centres to counter ISIS activity in areas separating the two sides.

"Co-operation and exchange of intelligence is necessary in order to keep up the pressure on the terrorists and prevent them from regrouping," al-Kanani said.

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