ISIS mercenaries between return attempts; control mechanism

The data for the first half of this year indicate that the efforts to revive ISIS mercenaries in Syria are being made by followers of extremist organizations and that preparations are being made to carry out operations that appear to be more dangerous. They have benefited from the failure of the international community and forces to resolve the ISIS file and the attacks by the Turkish occupying state.

ISIS mercenaries between return attempts; control mechanism
8 July 2024   04:10

Following the defeat of the last geographical strongholds of ISIL mercenaries in the town of Baghouz and the loss of its spatial control on March 23, 2019, the rate of resurgence remains high.

In the first half of 2024, Syria experienced violent acts by ISIS mercenary cells. After the ISIS attack count dropped to 152 in 2022, the 2023 attack count surged to 224 attacks, according to a report from the International Institute of Economics and Peace, in their eleventh edition of the 2024 World Terrorism Index, which identified Syria as one of the countries most affected by ISIS attacks.

In North and East Syria alone, ISIS launched 177 attacks between January 1 and January 30, 2024, as reported by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Internal Security Forces. In May, there were 24 attacks by the cells, and 9 other operations involving targets and explosions up to June 17.

In June, the Syrian Democratic Forces arrested 233 ISIS mercenaries, including two leaders, and eliminated 10 others, during 28 security operations conducted by the forces in the first half of the current year in the North and East of Syria, as per their latest statement.

Security sources have revealed to ANHA's agency that cells of ISIS mercenaries are organizing themselves in Diyala governorate, al-Anbar Plain, Haditha, al-Qaim Governorates in Iraq and have increased their activities on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The mercenaries are said to be preparing groups to manufacture explosives suicide and armed groups in these areas, as well as motorcycles and car bombs for use against prisons and the al-Hol camp.

The recent movement of ISIS mercenary cells demonstrates its efforts to revive it. They have returned to using booby-trapped vehicles to target areas of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA), as was the case when the points of the Syrian Democratic Forces were targeted twice in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor between May 9 and June 5.

Based on the rising level of activity by mercenary cells of ISIS on Syrian territory, the researcher on extremist movements and international terrorism, Munir Adib links the situation of regional and international chaos and instability, the attacks on the country, and the vague attitude of the international community and forces towards resolving the ISIS file.

He said, First and foremost, what drives the organization to revive itself is taking advantage of the political conditions and military developments affecting the world, referring to the Russian-Ukrainian war, as well as the war between Israel and Hamas and its expansion in the Middle East.

The researcher also pointed out that international forces failed to adopt real policies to confront ISIS, and that some forces sought to take advantage of its presence to carry out their own agenda and attacks on the territory.

Adib warned of such endeavors, and that they may carry out operations that appear to be harder, more dangerous, and more influential, citing the return of booby-trapped vehicles, attacks on camps, and the detentions of thousands of ISIS mercenaries.

Adib stressed the importance of international forces playing a greater and more important role in the idea of confrontation, and that such confrontation should be comprehensive, especially, away from any political objectives; for the idea of confronting ISIS and confronting its threat was extremely important, and said: This confrontation must come in the context of the great and growing threat of regulation to the security of the region and of the world.

According to the researcher on extremist movements and international terrorism, the most important thing is to punish anyone who shows support for ISIS mercenaries and has helped in their development, particularly in Turkey.

To thwart ISIS's chances of resurgence, military commander and spokesperson for the North Democratic Brigade (Liwa al-Shamal al-Democrati), Mahmoud Habib, highlights several measures that need to be taken. He stresses that the untreated survival of extremist ideologies is a complex issue requiring expertise, funding, and specialized international programs. It also takes time to eliminate these ideas, while creating alternative social and religious awareness and providing opportunities for young people to participate in the workforce and the economic market.

The sources of funding have decreased, as mercenary cells continue to receive financial, military, and logistical support from governments and organizations that sponsor terrorism, primarily the Turkish occupying state. This must be stopped through a clear international position condemning and punishing such acts. Despite dozens of pieces of evidence, this has not yet been done.

We must also end the existence of ISIS elements through the formation of an international tribunal with full legal powers. We must dismantle and repatriate ISIS mercenary families to their countries, and end the issue of the Cubs of the Caliphate, which could threaten to produce tens of thousands of ISIS elements in the future.

Establish the borders with the Iraqi side and raise the levels of training and needed to do so.

The international community and forces must stand up to the Turkish aggression; it gives an opportunity for the activity of the ISIS cells on the ground.

Mahmoud Habib referred to how those Syrian areas occupied by them were transformed into training centers and embraced the leadership of the ISIS mercenaries, recalling the recent strike by the International Coalition on June16, in which al-Janabi killed an ISIS mercenary leader.

The military commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mahmoud Habib, confirmed that the threat of ISIS mercenaries would remain if the international community in general and the West in particular did not change their traditional ways of dealing with it.

Since the elimination of the last geographic area of ISIS mercenaries in the North and East of Syria in 2019, the efforts of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Internal Security Forces to combat ISIS mercenary cells have not stopped. In addition, the Democratic Autonomous Administration is striving to move the international community and forces to address the case of ISIS as a whole by supporting the region to establish an international tribunal, deporting the families of ISIS mercenaries from the camps, and liberating the occupied Syrian areas in order to prevent them from becoming hotbeds of ISIS.

T/ Satt.