After Mosul, Islamic State digs in for guerrilla warfare
Militants of the Islamic State began to reinvent themselves before US-backed Iraqi forces ended their reign of three years of terror in Mosul, setting aside the dream of a modern caliphate and preparing the ground for a struggle different.
Intelligence and local officials said a few months ago they noticed a flood of commanders and fighters leaving the city to the mountains of Hamrin, north of Iraq, which seals and provides access to four Iraqi provinces.
Some were intercepted, but many have escaped from the security forces and began to lay the groundwork for their new operations.
The following may be a more complex and frightening challenge to Iraqi security forces once they have ended up celebrating a hard-fought victory in Mosul, the strongest of the militants.
Intelligence and security officials are preparing for a devastating Al Qaeda insurgency following the 2003 US-led invasion, which has pushed Iraq into a sectarian civil war that culminated in 2006-2007.
“They dig in. They have easy access to the capital,” Lahur Talabany, a senior Kurdish official in the fight against terrorism, told Reuters. As part of the US-led coalition, it is at the forefront of efforts to eliminate the Islamic state. “I think we’re going to have more enduring days.”
Some fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq have roots going back to the campaign car and suicide bombings of Al Qaeda exploited by dozens each day and managed to fuel a sectarian bloodshed in Iraq, a major oil producer and a major Ally of the United States.
When a US-funded tribal initiative crushed hard Al Qaeda clustered in the desert between Iraq and Syria. They reappeared with a new jihadist brand that has surprised the Islamic state of the world.
Shortly after fired sweeping through Mosul, the group exceeded the brutality of Al Qaeda, who conduct décalandages and executions en masse because it imposed its ultra-hard ideology. Unlike Al Qaeda, it seized a third of Iraqi territory, gaining a knowledge of the land that could be useful as it reaches the Iraqi security forces.
SADDAM Intelligence Agents
Former Iraqi intelligence agents who served under Saddam Hussein have joined with the Islamic state in an alliance of convenience.
These shrewd military stratagems of his Baath Party must be the new generation of leaders of the Islamic state, Talabany and other security officials said.
Instead of trying to create a caliphate, a concept that attracted recruits from disadvantaged Sunni Muslims, Islamic State leaders will focus on a war far less predictable guerrillas, officials Iraqi and Kurdish security officials said.
Iraqi forces have come a long way since the collapse of the Islamic State’s advance in 2014, shedding its weapons and removing military uniforms of panic.
They fought for nearly nine months to seize Mosul, with regular aerial assaults from the United States that have planted entire neighborhoods.