As Iraq remains on lockdown in an attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, ISIS operatives are using the time to step up their attacks.
“Corona is an important factor,” said Brig. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji, a spokesman for the Iraqi armed forces. “Some soldiers are not on active duty, and some of our operations against [ISIS] stopped. They are taking advantage to move and attack.” For example, insurgents seized the opportunity when a federal police unit that normally patrols a checkpoint in Mkesheefeh was deployed elsewhere to enforce the stay-at-home order. In its absence, ISIS ambushed the area and killed nine Sunni Muslim militiamen.
The incident, involving waves of attackers and a car bomb, also showcased how the group’s campaigns are becoming not only more frequent but also more aggressive and sophisticated in nature. Experts say ISIS followers are leveling attacks closer to cities and also may be reacting to the fact that Iraqi forces have become more dodged in their pursuit of the militants.
source: Washington Post