Diyala (IraqiNews.com) An official from Diyala province has indicated infighting among the members of Islamic State members in several regions.
“The sleeper cells of IS deployed in four regions in Diyala, including Hamreen, Waqf basin, al-Zour and al-Nada basin, have recently witnessed internal disputes as leaders seek dominating the whole group,” Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee of Diyala provincial council, told AlSumaria News on Friday.
“IS in Diyala disappears after its military presence is eliminated . Only sporadic cells are there,” Husseini added.
On Wednesday, Husseini said in remarks that an intelligence team managed to infiltrate the Hamreen Mountains area and killed IS commando chief in the province.
Being an area of tough geography, Hamreen served as a suitable haven for the militant group.
An IS leader and his companion were reportedly killed last week as clashes broke out between the group’s elite leaders in Um al-Sharr in Mutaibija, on borders between Diyala and Salahuddin
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.
The war against IS has displaced at least five million people. Thousands others fled towards neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries, since IS emerged to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.