(IraqiNews) Nineveh – Reuters news agency revealed on Friday that the terrorist group ISIS thwarted a rebellion lead by a deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to help Iraqi forces retake the Iraqi city of Mosul which ISIS considers to be the capital of its so-called caliphate.
Civilians and security officials said that the terrorist group executed 58 people suspected of involvement in the conspiracy that was discovered last week, the news agency reported.
Citizens present in the city, in phone calls with Reuter’s reporters, explained that the plotters who were caught by ISIS were buried in a mass grave in the outskirts of Mosul after they were drowned to death.
According to information gathered from several sources, Reuters indicated that a local assistant of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi led the rebellion, but the agency did not mention the plot leader’s name in order to maintain the safety of his family.
The news agency also did not reveal the identities of eyewitnesses who spoke to its reporters in phone calls for security reasons.
Hisham al-Hashimi, an expert on ISIS affairs, told Reuters that the plot participants were arrested after a message in one of their phones about a weapons transfer operation was intercepted.
The person who had the message on his phone, during ISIS’ investigations, admitted that weapons were hidden in three different locations and were intended to be used to support the Iraqi army in conjunction with its imminent battle to liberate the city.
According to Hashimi, ISIS militants bombarded 3 houses where the weapons were hidden.
“These are ISIS members who revolted against the group. This indicates that the terrorist group started to lose the support given by its members,” spokesperson of the Iraqi Counter-terrorism Service Sabah al-Numani told Reuters.
Numani elaborated that his agency, during the past two months, managed to open communication channels with agents who began to provide the agency with intelligence information that helped it wage raids on sites belonging to the terrorist group in Mosul.
The news agency mentioned that ISIS delivered a list of the names of the 58 people were were executed to a hospital to inform their families but did not deliver the dead bodies.
“ISIS withdrew the IDs of its local leaders to prevent them and their families from fleeing the city,” Ahmed al-Taie, military intelligence officer in Nineveh province, told Reuters.
Iraqi officials say a massive ground assault could begin this month, backed by U.S. air power, Kurdish security forces and Shiite and Sunni irregular units as reported by Iraqi News.