The terrorist IS militia returns

There is a fire in the North of Iraq. Thick smoke rise above fields of wheat. The terrorist militia of the so-called Islamic state (IS) has set fire to them. Th

The terrorist IS militia returns

There is a fire in the North of Iraq. Thick smoke rise above fields of wheat. The terrorist militia of the so-called Islamic state (IS) has set fire to them. The population should be intimidated. No one, that is the message that must work together with the state authorities.

For weeks Raids are piling up, detonate booby-traps, blast by a suicide bomber in the air. So how on 28. April. There's a suicide bomber marched on the headquarters of the intelligence service in the Northern Iraqi of Kirkuk. As the security guards were attentive, he lit his bomb before he reached the building.

After the terrorism had jihadists beat before, especially at night and in remote regions, marked the stop of Kirkuk, a change of strategy.

1. May attacked the IS-terrorists directly fighters of an Iraqi militia North of Baghdad. At the end of ten members of the so-called popular mobilization units, PMU, were dead. The special feature is that The IS attacked with several groups of different pages. And he had prepared roadside bombs were a trap for the approaching reinforcements to the death.

For Sam Heller, such a coordinated and complex attacks instructions for an "organization that wins again real power back". The adviser of the non-governmental organisation, Crisis Group observed the development in the Middle East from Beirut. Noticed him in this, that the IS reported in its own Report, in the meantime, more of the longer gun battles with Iraqi security forces, and more complex operations, in contrast to the previous asymmetric attacks.

sleeper agent

In March 2019, against just 14 months, had lost the Terror-Caliphate in the battle of Baghus the last remnant of his territory. In October, killed by US special forces, the self-appointed Caliph of the IS in Syria's Northwest province of Idlib, near the Turkish border.

But in the 20. January, warned a United Nations report to the UN security Council already in the first sentence of his summary, the Islamic state have begun, "both in Syria and in Iraq to assert themselves again", by "increasingly bolder attacks". Of IS in Syria have positioned itself as an underground network, similar to how it had happened after the fall of the IS in Iraq in 2017. Freed from the responsibility of having territory to defend, there was a significant rise of attacks in previously peaceful regions, will continue to write the UN-authors.

"The is is still one of the strongest terrorist organizations in the world," says terrorism expert Guido Steinberg in the DW-interview - with views of the many offshoot of the terrorist-jihadists all over the world. But also, if you look only on the IS in Syria and Iraq, the organization strongly emphasizes the scholar of Islam, and to a comparison: "Before the IS started, to his great advancement in 2013/2014, he had in the year 2010, only about 700 fighters available. Today the IS in Iraq and Syria, respectively, from 2000 to 3000 man, and shows the danger which threatens."

Other estimates go even much higher Numbers. At the end of January the US special envoy for the Anti-IS coalition, James Jeffrey, spoke of 14,000 to 18,000 IS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

Bulging war chest

financially, the terrorists seem to be after the territorial decline of the Caliphate, well taken care of. This suggests at least a report from the 11. May of the U.S. inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve, OIR, such as the U.S. military operation against the IS called. The report cited the US tax authority with the information, the IS have "access to financial reserves of hundreds of millions of dollars". In addition, the IS generate money through criminal activity and can move through couriers and other financial service providers easy money in the Region.

nevertheless defined the OIR report, the activities of the IS as a "rebellion at a low level". In addition, the terrorist militia was not able to hold the territory. But you do it for each other impossible to operate safely in these regions, is Dan Smith's concerns. "The IS in surgery today is more like a classical guerrilla-militia and very much less than the self-declared Caliphate five years ago", the SIPRI Director.


The jihadis have at the Moment two allies: first, the Coronavirus, and the conflicts in the Region. In March, the IS had called on his followers to increase attacks. Governments around the world were distracted by the fight against COVID-19. The Corona pandemic have affected the Operation Inherent Resolve "significantly", - stated in the OIR report. The mainly Kurdish fighters existing Syrian Democratic forces (SDF), for example, have ceased their military operations. In Iraq, the training programmes for the armed forces on the ice. Where the German Bundeswehr is involved.

Especially the IS of the conflict benefits in the Region, Specifically between Turkey and Northern Syrian Kurds as well as between the US and Iran. The beginning of the year massively escalated after the killing of the Iranian General Soleimani by the United States, "one of the greatest enemies of the IS," as Dan Smith holds on. This attack, which is also the General of an Iraqi PMU was militia killed, has deteriorated the climate to the USA, so much so that the stationing of US troops in Iraq is basically out of the question. Besides, it always came back to attacks on U.S. facilities.

the withdrawal of the USA

In consequence of the United States have abandoned in Iraq, four military bases and two military bases withdrawn. What makes the combat of the IS noticeable, says Guido Steinberg. "Because the American forces will not go so intense as before with the Iraqi security in the field."

in Syria, the Americans were represented "only a few hundred of the man," observed the terror expert. That makes Steinberg therefore of concern, because the "Americans have a special focus on the foreign fighters, which can be about Iraq and Syria, in addition to a danger."

This is also true for the roughly 2000 foreign IS fighters in the Northern Syrian SDF-prisons. Before his death, the former IS-chief Baghdadi nor the liberation of the prisoners in a Video was referred as the highest priority. The security situation in the Kurdish fighters secure prisons, which was already precarious. Was aggravated by the "Operation peace source" called the Turkish Invasion in the Northern Syrian Kurdish areas last October. Already there hundreds of prisoners took advantage of the turmoil of war to escape. And because the Kurdish self-government needs to invest more resources in the conflict with Turkey and their militias, are available less guards for the prisons. Time and again since then to trying to escape and riots.

ISIS is everyone's enemy. But he is not everyone's main enemy. Of the IS has benefited in the past. He should get no opportunity to take advantage of that again.

author: Matthias von Hein

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Date Of Update: 25 May 2020, 01:27