Lawmaker warns of emergence of Islamic State sleeper cells in liberated areas

Rapporteur of the Iraqi Parliament Emad Youhanna

Baghdad ( A senior lawmaker has warned of the emergence of the so-called Islamic State sleeper cells in four recently-liberated areas in Iraq.

“Information indicated that Islamic State sleeper cells seek to relaunch the terrorist group’s activities in Hawija, Tuz Khurmatu, Mosul and Ramadi,” Emad Youhanna, the rapporteur of the Iraqi parliament, told the semi-official Al-Sabah newspaper on Monday.

“IS militants have already attacked civilians in the four areas and committed several crimes there,” Youhanna said, calling on Iraqi security forces to firmly stand up to any plot aimed at undermining Iraq’s security and stability.

He added that the Iraqi people have suffered so much in the past period and showed dogged determination in the fight against IS militants.

“The Iraqi people, however, are capable of undoing the damage caused by Islamic State thanks to their unity,” Youhanna stressed.

On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.

In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”

“Our battle against the enemy, who wanted to destroy our civilization, is over. Thus, we gained victory through our unity and determination that made us defeat IS in short time,” he said.

Abadi’s announcement comes two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria.

Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.

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