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Iraqi Forces Consider Alternatives for ISIS Families in Eastern Mosul | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Major-General Mark Hertling (C), the commander of the U.S. forces in northern Iraq, walks during a battlefield circulation patrol on the streets in Mosul, June 19, 2008. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Baghdad- Mosul- Suggestions hint that sleeper cells belonging to terror group ISIS and lone wolf militants are present and embedded among civilians in the recently liberated eastern Mosul, Iraq.

Security forces announced planning stringent sweeping measures, holding civilians responsible towards informing the closest form of authority in the case of encountering a suspected terrorist.

Al-Mada Press, an Iraq-based daily, recently published a report saying that there is no clear outline as to how the families of ISIS militants will be dealt with. However, Iraqi civilians returning to liberated areas will be subject to extensive vetting.

Families of ISIS members might be looking towards a shift to camp grounds, until the Nineveh provincial council decides on the fate of the group, which amount to two percent of the governorate’s population.

Nineveh council member Khaled al Hadidi pointed out that Mosul alone demands the minimum of 15,000 security officers to guarantee the offsetting of violations staged by sleeper terror cells.

“Armed militants are present and are incognito, laying low among west coast citizens — some of them have forged identification papers,” Hadidi said.

Refugees flooding Iraqi-Kurdistan region camps are put under nonstop monitoring and security sweeps by the Kurdish counter terrorism forces.

On temporarily moving ISIS family members to refugee camps, Hadidi says that the people of al-Shourah, located south of Mosul, have completely rejected the proposal. Al-Shoura was recently freed from ISIS tyranny some three months ago.

Battles in eastern Mosul on Saturday witnessed renewed shelling by Iraqi forces on ISIS-held grounds.

Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported that government troops continue to beef up deployments near the Tigris River, which cuts through Iraq’s second largest city.

According to Rudaw’s report, citing Iraqi military sources, an estimated 1700 ISIS terror units are based in the western region, deployed across nearly 99 districts.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led international military coalition, launched a grand offensive last October, seeking to retake ISIS’ last stronghold in Iraq, Mosul.

Operations succeeded in retaking the whole of the eastern side after intense resistance from the militants who fled across Tigris River to the western side.