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Ex-Iraqi MP: 1500 ISIL Terrorists Still in Western Iraq

TEHRAN There are still hundreds of ISIL militants in Western Iraq even after the official declaration on the annihilation of the terrorist group, a former Iraqi parliamentarian said.

The Arabic-language website of the Russia Today quoted the former head of Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Committee, Hakem al-Zameli, as saying that according to the accurate information of the Iraqi government, the total number of the ISIL's active terrorists in Iraq currently stands at 1,500, who move between Iraq and Syria.

Al-Zameli reiterated that the ISIL terrorists are deployed in desert regions, specially border regions between Iraq and Syria as well as the Hamrin mountains and areas under dispute by Iraq's Central government in Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.

In a relevant development in late June, a prominent Iraqi security expert warned of the US plot to transfer the ISIL terrorists to the bordering areas with Syria in collaboration with the two countries' tribes.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted Hossein al-Kanani as saying that the US attempts to transfer the ISIL terrorists to the bordering areas of Iraq and Syria and build safe shelters for them through coordination with a number of tribal leaders in the region.

He referred to the recent attempts by US Ambassador to Baghdad Matthew Tueller to meet the Iraqi tribal leaders, and said other goals are also pursued by the measure, including targeting the Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) and Iraqi security forces in these regions and cutting Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut connections by taking control over the Iraqi-Syrian borders.

Meantime, a senior official in al-Qiyarah region in the Southern parts of Nineveh province said that the ISIL terrorists have increased their operations in the desert areas in the Western parts of the region under the nose of the US planes and drones that fly over the same regions.

Also, commander of Hashd al-Shaabi forces in Iraq reported that his forces had started military operations to cleanse and establish security along a 120-km chunck of the Iraqi-Syrian borders between the provinces of al-Anbar and Nineveh in Western Iraq.

Back in 2014, the ISIL launched a campaign of attacks and vicious acts of bloodshed that resulted in Iraq losing a third of its territory. Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters fought back fiercely until they managed to recapture the lost territory three years later.

In December 2017, Iraq finally declared the end of ISIL reign of terror, thanks to Iran's military advisory support.

The US, however, has kept up its military presence in the Arab country. There have been a frequent reports recently accusing the US troops of orchestrating another rise of ISIL in the near future. Reports show that the US has concentrated all ISIL commanders and combatants captured in Syria alive and in a camp near the Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq where thousands of ISIL-related people have been kept among families of ISIL's dead or captured members.

Source: Fars News Agency