Conflict

Iraqi forces successfully counter an ISIS attack west of Mosul

Iraq

Since their defeat in Iraq in December 2017, ISIS sleeper cells have attempted to launch attacks on various towns and villages in Mosul. However, the Iraqi Security Forces with the cooperation of the locals have been able to thwart ISIS attacks on the city.

Since the liberation of Mosul in July 2017, ISIS sleeper cells have attempted to attack the city, only to be thwarted by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Recently an ISIS sleeper cell tried to target the village of Ouaynat in the district of Rabia west of Mosul with a car bomb. However, the attack failed due to the cooperation of the locals, who reported the suspicious car to the Iraqi Security Forces.

“The engineering battalion of the 15th Infantry Division dismantled the vehicle and found around 60 kg of C4, ten explosive belts and other explosive materials. This village is characterised by its full cooperation with the security services,” said the major-general responsible for the district.

According to the major-general, the residents of the village of Ouaynat have continuously cooperated with the Iraqi Security Forces in capturing ISIS sleeper cells. “Previously, when some suicide bombers tried to attack the residents of this village, the residents of the village, both women and men, assisted the security forces.”

Since the start of the operations to rid the country from ISIS control, the ISF have stressed the importance of local cooperation, as they know the areas better than the incoming security forces. As a result, cities, and villages with increased citizen cooperation have seen much more stability and security.

“The security situation is very good because of the presence of security forces and the cooperation of citizens with them,” said a local man.

Observers say that one of the most difficult challenges that Iraq currently faces is securing the liberated areas from infiltration attempts and attacks carried out by ISIS sleeper cells.

In the past few months, the ISF have conducted many operations throughout the different Iraqi provinces to clear the country from sleeper cells. This resulted in the arrest of many ISIS militants, the seizure of their weapons and the destruction of their hideouts. Consequently, ISIS attacks have decreased significantly throughout the country.

“We thank our security forces for their efforts,” said a Moslawi man. “We are cooperating with the security forces against ISIS, and all of us are united against ISIS.