Conflict

Villages in Iraq are being armed to defend against potential ISIS threats

Iraq

Nineveh operations chief Major General Najm al-Jubouri, announced days ago that 50 villages in Nineveh province would be armed in order to defend themselves against ISIS.

The defeat over ISIS in Iraq and the dramatic downfall of the so-called “Islamic State” thanks to the efforts of the Iraqi Armed Forces has pushed the group to hidden corners in the country, as it is has been seeking to re-group in hard-to-reach sleeper cells. This has meant that the group has continued to pose a threat in areas where it is still secretly active, at times revealing themselves and causing harm to civilians. This has led Nineveh operations chief Major General Najm al-Jubouri to announce a plan that will provide 50 villages in the Nineveh Province with weapons for the self-defence of civilians living there. 

Several instances have been reported of ISIS terrorists dressing up in civilian or military clothing to hide their identities and enter villages in the Nineveh region where they have continued to commit inhumane crimes.

They killed him [husband] in the garden behind the house. My little girls started to scream when they saw their father slaughtered”, said a woman whose location has been kept secret. 

ISIS has in fact regressed to the form and strategies it was adopting in the pre-2014 period when the group was yet to spread and take control of territories in Iraq and Syria. The group’s members are dispersed and hiding in sleeper cells, making it difficult for the Iraqi security forces to find them.

The plan led by  Nineveh operations chief Major General Najm al-Jubouri has cast a number of doubts as there are numerous security risks involved with providing civilians with arms. When before it was only the responsibility of the security forces to protect villages from ISIS attacks, there is now an onus on civilians to protect themselves, despite a professional lack of training in warfare. In addition, there is no guarantee as to how these arms will be used by the civilians.