Small Wars Journal

Hundreds of Islamic State Militants are Slipping Back Into Iraq. Their Fight Isn’t Over.

Hundreds of Islamic State Militants are Slipping Back Into Iraq. Their Fight Isn’t Over. By Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim– Washington Post

Islamic State militants who escaped the defeat of their self-declared caliphate in Syria earlier this year have been slipping across the border into Iraq, bolstering a low-level insurgency the group is now waging across the central and northern part of the country, according to security officials.

About 1,000 fighters have crossed into Iraq over the past eight months, most of them in the aftermath of the caliphate’s collapse in March, said Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst who advises Iraq’s government and foreign aid agencies.

These fighters, mostly Iraqis who followed the Islamic State into Syria, are returning home to join militant cells that have been digging into rugged rural areas, sustained by intimate knowledge of the terrain, including concealed tunnels and other hiding places…

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