Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Stances Vary on the End of ISIS in Iraq

Stances Vary on the End of ISIS in Iraq

Sunday, 17 February, 2019 - 12:30
Iraqi soldiers gather to go battle against ISIS militants south of Mosul, Iraq, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
While the Iraqi government hasn’t yet revealed an official stance towards the US President Donald Trump's intention to declare the eradication of ISIS, an Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the “military battle with ISIS has ended since late 2017 and an official announcement was made in this regard and it gained a wide world attention.”

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, added that confronting ISIS has now moved into an intelligence security phase through chasing those who infiltrated into the society or are still hiding in the rough geographical areas.

The US-led coalition will become a force for supervision and protection, and will end the military operations at this stage, he continued.

Hisham al-Hashimi, a researcher on militant movements, told the newspaper that Americans want to repeat an experience similar to theirs in Afghanistan where they left things pending without a decisive conclusion.

On whether the US priorities have changed, Hashimi said the ISIS challenge has become less important compared to the Iranian’s.

Former Governor of Nineveh Province Atheel al-Nujaifi had a different point of view and told the newspaper that: “I see announcing the eradication of ISIS as a closure of this file in Syria and transferring it to Iraq.”

Nujaifi continued that ISIS members have been moving from Syria to Iraq or Idlib and joining the Nusra Front, and this is the second file of high risks.

“What matters is the escalating ISIS attacks and its presence in the US-Iranian conflict zone,” he added.

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