Eleven fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces, a paramilitary coalition integrated into the Iraqi State, died this Saturday in an ambush attributed to the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) north of Baghdad, sources of that armed body informed ..
The attack, carried out at night in a remote region, with small arms – a typical IS group modus operandi since its military defeat in Iraq in 2017 – was smaller than the double suicide attack that killed Thursday 32 civilians in the center of Baghdad, and that raised fear of the resurgence of jihadists in urban terrain.
“IS launched an attack on the 22nd brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces [Hashd al-Shaabi] east of Tikrit, “the capital of the Saladin province, about 150 km north of Baghdad, said Abu Ali al Maliki, one of the officers of that brigade.
Eleven members of it died and another ten were injured, indicated other sources of the Popular Mobilization Forces.
The attack was not claimed but all the sources contacted by . accused the IS group.
– Bureaucracy and corruption –
According to experts, Thursday’s attack, which was claimed by the propaganda organ of the jihadist group, could be an isolated case since the clandestine cells of the IS, scattered throughout mountainous and desert areas of the country, have neither the organization nor the equipment necessary to carry out major attacks in urban areas.
However, the unprecedented attack in more than three years in the capital exposed the shortcomings of the Iraqi security apparatus, corroded by corruption and bureaucracy.
Furthermore, the security forces pay the price for tensions between rival armed groups and between politicians of all extremes, while the country prepares to organize an early election, the exact date of which is still being negotiated.
In fact, the attacks by the IS group in recent months were registered, above all, in the provinces of Saladino and Kirkuk (north), which the Kurdish and federal forces are fighting, which has led to a breach of which is the jihadists have taken advantage.
Thus, seventeen people, mostly military, died in November in various attacks by the IS group north of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, the United States reduced its contingent in Iraq to 2,500 troops, while almost all the other member states of the anti-IS coalition left the country as soon as the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
str-sbh / elm / jvb / jz