Remnants of ISIS exploit security gaps, adopt new military tactics in Iraq

Commenting on the group’s economic activity, Hashemi said the organization has begun relying on self-funding via theft, abduction and blackmail. (File photo: Supplied)

As the first anniversary of the Iraqi forces victory against ISIS nears, the terrorist organization’s remnants are trying to exploit security gaps in some areas that are not very far from the capital Baghdad.

Doctor Hashem al-Hashemi, an expert in armed groups’ affairs, said ISIS has adopted a new military tactic ever since its defeat in October last year and the declaration of victory against it later in December.

“After ISIS commanders (dispatched) their fighters to the desert and mountains in scattered areas in Iraq and Syria, the organization resorted to the so-called gang hybrid warfare and (adopted) the tactics of the ghost fighter,” Hashemi said, adding that the aim is sowing chaos in areas with sectarian or ethnic diversity or finding areas that are fragile in terms of security.

He added that ISIS’s new tactic also includes deploying fighters in areas of minorities.

Funding via abduction, theft

Commenting on the group’s economic activity, Hashemi said the organization has begun relying on self-funding via theft, abduction and blackmail, adding that this means ISIS has lost its ability to receive foreign funding and to make money from the investments it had done by selling oil in Iraq and Syria.

According to some observers, ISIS smuggled around $400 million abroad from Iraq and Syria and it seeks to increase its resources via money laundering operations.

He noted that ISIS, which once controlled 48 percent of the Syrian territory and 32 percent of the Iraqi territory, now only controls 2 percent of Syria and its organizational capacity decreased from 32 states to just six.

ISIS’s three diwans

Hashemi also said that ISIS’s self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi eliminated more than nine diwans and kept just three, which are Diwan al-Jund (soldiery) that manages military affairs, a diwan for security and intelligence and a financial and administrative diwan.

Hashemi added that legitimate committees are no longer binding and only act as an advisory body, administrative and financial departments are decentralized and the organization’s targets are selected by the security commander, and not the military commander.

Meanwhile, a security source in Diyala said the number of ISIS remnants in Diyala is no more than 70 armed men, adding that most of them are present in Hamrin Basin which is 55 kilometers northeast of Baqubah. He added that ISIS’s activity decreased by 70 percent compared to this time last year.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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