Iraqi authorities nab Islamic State ‘governor’ of Fallujah

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Iraq’s intelligence companies captured the Islamic State’s governor of Fallujah in an operation coordinated with safety forces of the nation’s Kurdistan Region, Iraq’s army mentioned Monday.

The US-led coalition to defeat IS confirmed the arrest following an assertion by Iraq’s Security Media Cell.

Iraqi police named the so-called governor as Abu Ali al-Jumaili. He was captured within the metropolis sporting an explosive suicide belt, Iraqi authorities mentioned.

The safety forces mentioned he confessed to working with IS in each Iraq and Syria and admitted involvement in IS assaults towards Iraq’s safety forces and civilians.

Al-Jumaili was beforehand imprisoned in Iraq in 2005 for affiliation with al-Qaeda earlier than being launched in 2011, having served solely six years of a 15-year sentence, Rudaw information reported. Upon getting back from Syria, he was appointed IS’ deputy governor of Mosul earlier than being given command of Fallujah in Anbar province.

Al-Jumaili’s arrest coincides with the seize of one other IS determine throughout the border in Syria. An IS official accountable for recruitment, networking and native assassinations was arrested in Syria’s jap Deir ez-Zor province with aerial surveillance supplied by the US-led coalition.

Two years after the US-backed seize of IS’ remaining holdout alongside the Euphrates River on Syria’s border with Iraq, Arav-majority Deir ez-Zor province continues to endure assassinations by suspected IS sleeper cells.

Both Iraq’s safety forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces proceed to spherical up underground IS suspects with US assist. The two forces are more and more able to dealing with counter-IS operations on their very own, the US army has assessed.

But regardless of the progress of the US-led train-and-equip effort since 2014, Iraq’s safety forces usually are not absolutely prepared to face on their very own, the US intelligence group believes.

Iraqi safety forces “probably will maintain counter-ISIS operations absent coalition support for at least 1 year, although coordination among the various ISF elements probably will be inconsistent,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, wrote in a written testimony to Congress final week.

Berrier added that Iraqi forces “will be unlikely to fully employ” their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with out US assist.

With the twilight of the conflict towards IS’ jihadist caliphate and makes an attempt to chill tensions with Iran’s proxy militias within the area, the administration of President Joe Biden is seeking to scale back US engagement within the Middle East to concentrate on a rising China.

US forces are set to withdraw from Afghanistan by September, ending US involvement within the longest battle in American historical past. US coverage in Syria stays underneath evaluation by administration officers however there are at the moment no plans for the two,500 troops in Iraq to tug out, head of US forces within the Middle East Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie mentioned this month.

The US army presence contracted considerably in Iraq final 12 months. The coalition handed over eight bases to Iraqi safety forces because the coronavirus pandemic and rocket assaults by Iran-linked militias hastened the tip of hands-on coaching for Iraq’s safety forces.

McKenzie mentioned final week that CENTCOM is prepared and succesful to proceed counterterror operations in Iraq by troops based mostly exterior the nation if ordered to take action. An identical plan is in place for Afghanistan underneath McKenzie’s supervision.

NATO officers have mentioned they’ll to considerably increase the alliance’s separate coaching mission for Iraq’s safety forces because the United States attracts down in Iraq. Some 4,000 NATO troops have been promised for the mission’s enlargement however it’ll seemingly require further US assist.

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