From Syria, IS Slips Into Iraq To Fight Another Day by Qassim Abdul-Zahraand Philip Issa – AP
Islamic State fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country’s fragile security, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.
Hundreds — likely more than 1,000 — IS fighters have crossed the open, desert border in the past six months, defying a massive operation by U.S., Kurdish, and allied forces to stamp out the remnants of the jihadi group in eastern Syria, according to three Iraqi intelligence officials and a U.S. military official.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on intelligence matters. But indications of the extremist group’s widening reach in Iraq are clear.
Cells operating in four northern provinces are carrying out kidnappings, assassinations, and roadside ambushes aimed at intimidating locals and restoring the extortion rackets that financed the group’s rise to power six years ago…