SDF have confirmed since the first day of the defeat of ISIS mercenaries geographically on March 23 of this year, that the elimination of ISIS mercenaries geographically does not mean the end of the threat of ISIS, and the continuing danger is the presence of many of its sleeper cells in the liberated areas and committed crimes.
ANHA agency obtained the confessions of the cell admitted to carrying out several attacks, most notably the assassination of members of the Sharia Roundabout checkpoint in the western side of the city of Manbij of the Self-Defense Forces on 25 March this year, as a result, seven members of the Autonomous Administration have martyred.
The cell is also responsible for the suicide car bomb attack that attempted to target a military vehicle belonging to the Manbij Military Council on a highway southeast of Manbij on March 9 this year and another operation on 16 May of this year, resulted in a martyr and 10 wounded, including civilians and children.
The cell is composed of 18 members, including 7 women, others are involved in securing the house, other supplies, and other logistics for the cell mercenaries, knowing that the cell members were behind the attacks in the city of Manbij.
The most important elements of the cell involved in the attacks are Mahmoud Mustafa al-Ali (Abu Mustafa), the Emir of the cell, was arrested in the city of al-Raqqa during the investigation, and his confessions have not yet been presented to the public opinion, and Omar Abdul Qader al-Sheikh (Imran), deputy Amir of the cell Abu Habib al-Shami participated in the assassination of the Self-Defense Forces checkpoint and carried out a suicide attack in front of the Internal security forces building.
The cell also includes Mahmoud Ali al-Ali (Abu Ghufran or Abu Mohammed) participated in four attacks, and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Shana called (Abu Zakaria), his task to prepare explosive devices and car bombs, and Ahmed Ali al-Hamad is called in the cell (Abu Ali Rtla) participated in 6 attacks were carried out. Mohieddin Zahir Hosh (Al-Qaisi) carried out operations in the countryside and found weapons and ammunition in his possession. Ahmed Obeid Mohammed Ali Aka (Obeid) participated in five operations, one of which failed and thwarted.
Targeting the SDF checkpoint
According to the confessions of the members of the cell involved in the assassination of the Self-Defense checkpoint, 7 mercenaries from the cell went to empty buildings near the checkpoint, where two guns with silencers and machine guns were disarmed and boarded an H-100. They surrounded the checkpoint, then two of them entered. In less than three minutes, the members of the checkpoint were completely assassinated. They stole the weapons that were in the checkpoint and withdrew, leaving seven martyrs of the Self-Defense Forces.
Abu Ali Rtla and Abu Ghufran's mission during the assassination of the checkpoint was surrounded by two other members of the cell, Omran as a driver, Abu Habib al-Shami, Abu Mustafa, the Amir of the cell and his task of monitoring from afar.
Targeting the ISF building
Abdul Aziz Abdul Rehman Shanaa of Ghandoura countryside from Jrablos born in 1987 alias Abu Zakaria, was assigned to the task of preparing explosive devices and car bombs.
He joined ISIS mercenaries in 2016. He worked in al-Raqqa in the field of war plating and plating explosives and preparing them for ISIS mercenaries. With the defeat of ISIS mercenaries, he abandoned working with mercenaries and returned to al-Raqqa, which had been liberated by SDF forces, and remained there for about six months.
Then he moved to live in the city of Manbij and met with the mercenary Abu Mustafa, the prince of the ISIS mercenary cell in the city of Manbij through his sister MS, Abu Mustafa offered to Abu Zakaria work and he agreed, and the mercenary Abu Zakaria admitted that he made six explosive devices detonated by the cell in different places inside Manbij city and its countryside.
He also set a trap in a white (H-100 car) and equipped it with six explosive devices, which he concealed with a plastic trunk lid that exploded with a suicide bomber on the Manbij Highway on March 9 this year.
Two months later, he worked on preparing a small Suzuki car and booby traps, making a solar panel for its rear trunk and preparing two cans along the trunk in two seats on both sides. It is estimated the size of the two cans of eight small, which was detonated by the suicide bomber targeting the building of the Internal Security Forces on May 16 this year, resulted in a martyr and 10 wounded, including civilians and children.
ISIS remains a threat
The confessions demonstrate the mercenaries' ability to adapt and change tactics according to circumstances.
From large-scale assaults to small-group attacks, to the organization of sleeper cells and sporadic operations of assassinations and car bomb attacks, it is clear that ISIS, whose control of vast geography in Syria and Iraq has ended, remains a major challenge for the SDF and the forces engaged in International Coalition against ISIS.