ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces on Wednesday announced the dismantling of a sleeper cell belonging to the Islamic State (IS) in the city of Mosul.
According to a statement issued by the Iraqi security forces’ information center, a military intelligence unit, “based on accurate information and continuous follow-up, was able to penetrate and dismantle a terrorist cell in the city of Mosul.”
“The sleeper cell was responsible for providing information and material support to the criminal gangs,” it explained.
The statement added that the sleeper cell contained 11 IS members who were all detained by security forces and who could face execution “in accordance with the provisions of article 4 of the anti-terrorism law.”
After recently admitting that IS still had a presence in the country, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Wednesday that Baghdad would take “all necessary measures” to prevent cross-border assaults by the extremist group in Syria.
“[IS] are present in eastern Syria, at the Iraqi border. I will take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq,” he said during a weekly press briefing.
Abadi noted that he had discussed the possible cross-border operation with United States President Donald Trump in a Sunday phone call.
In December, Abadi declared victory over the extremist group, but the militants continue to carry out assassinations, ambushes, and bombings across the country.
Last year, Iraqi forces took control of Mosul, the de facto capital of IS, with the help of Kurdish Peshmerga and the support of the US-led coalition.
The liberation of the city put an end to the cross-border “caliphate” IS had announced in mid-2014 when they took over large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq.