Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

ISIS, Qaeda to Establish New Organization in Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqis leave the Zanjili neighborhood of west Mosul on June 3, 2017 during the ongoing offensive by security forces to retake the city from ISIS. AFP photo

Irbil- The director of the districts and towns of Kirkuk province police department, Sarhad Qader, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that armed groups from ISIS and al-Qaeda have held meetings to establish a new organization in Iraq.

“Armed fighters from ISIS, al-Qaeda and some terrorist organizations operating in al-Huweija and other ISIS-controlled areas in the Hamreen Mountains and Diyala province, are currently working to establish a new terrorist organization,” Qader said.

He believed Arab and foreign militants will be part of the new group.

“Extensive meetings were being held among the militants of both organizations to set the stage for (the establishment of) this new group,” he added.

The latest development comes as ISIS registered on Sunday more losses in Iraq’s city of Mosul and its west.

Member of Security and Defense Committee of Nineveh Council Hashim al-Brifkani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the remaining areas of Mosul which are under ISIS control are different geographically and in terms of infrastructure.

“Advancement is slow in those areas. But, despite all the difficulties, Iraqi security forces still have 3 kilometers to fully win the Mosul battle.”

Al-Brifkani also warned that one missile dropped in those neighborhoods would be able to destroy at least 10 houses because buildings there are very old and abut each other. “There are more than 100,000 civilians trapped by ISIS armed militants in those neighborhoods,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) announced on Sunday that they have liberated the strategic al-Baaj district and more than 10 towns near the Syrian border.

Therefore, after recuperating al-Baaj, ISIS is only left with the Telafar district in west Mosul.

According to Iraqi security forces, the Iranian-backed PMF has been besieging in Telafar hundreds of ISIS’ Arab, foreign and Iraqi leaders and militants for the past seven months.