Senior coalition official warns of further ISIS activity in Iraq

The Chief of Staff of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, Brandon Parker, said the Islamic State (ISIS) seeks to create a threat through its activities in prisons and attacks on detention centers in areas where the authority of the Iraqi government is weak.

Parker said in an interview with Al-Hurra news on Saturday, May 21, that the coalition continues to work with the Iraqi government and the country’s armed forces to weaken ISIS, stating the militant group is still a danger.
Assaults on prisons were a part of ISIS’ plans to instill a threat inside Iraq, Parker noted, adding the militant group sought to carry out further activities where Baghdad’s authority was weak and a unified force against the group did not exist.
An attack by sleeper cells on a prison housing thousands of ISIS members in the Syrian city of Hasaka in January led to several days of clashes while Syrian Democratic Forces struggled to regain control.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in February their sources estimated hundreds of ISIS members may have escaped.
Observers have long warned of a security vacuum in areas disputed between Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, leaving both civilians and security forces vulnerable to attacks from ISIS.
Parker warned that the militant group was trying to renew itself after its territorial defeat in Iraq in 2017.
He also said the coalition would continue to provide military assistance to Iraq for as long as Baghdad requested it.
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