The head of the Iraqi Sadrist movement, and a leading player in Iraq's political scene Muqtada al-Sadr has stated that “Mosul is in danger”, adding that terrorist cells are still active in the city, and that “corrupt hands” are taking advantage of the situation.
On his official Twitter account on Wednesday, Sadr said: “Mosul is in danger. Terrorist cells are active and corrupt hands are snatching,” adding the hashtag ‘Save Mosul’.
Late last year, Iraq announced it had successfully ousted ISIS from the group’s urban strongholds across the country.
But extremist cells still wage hit-and-run attacks. This month alone, a deadly string of attacks hit the capital and a car bomb exploded in ISIS’s onetime capital Mosul, killing three.
At least five civilians were also killed in a car bomb blast in Iraq’s Tikrit earlier this week.
Three of the dead were women, the sources said, and another 16 people were wounded.
Tikrit spent nearly 10 months under ISIS rule before Iraqi security forces retook it in the spring of 2015.
Nineveh province’s commander, Major General Najm al-Jabouri had earlier declared his unwillingness to hand over command of security to any province.
During a meeting with the governor of Mosul, Nofal al-Akoub, and senior officers of the province, Jabouri questioned their readiness to give up their posts and leave the city, referring to the stance of the officers of the interior and defense ministries in 2014 during ISIS’s invasion of Mosul, where they had left their military uniforms and fled the province.
Jabouri stated that all officers must support the morale of their soldiers and fighters, and not intimidate residents.
The Iraqi government had announced the liberation of Mosul, the last city occupied by ISIS, and the completion of military operations in December of last year, but has not yet begun reconstruction of liberated cities or the return of displaced families.