Iraq seizes explosives smuggled in car from Syria by ISIS

Terror group has continued to carry out sporadic attacks after country claimed victory over it

Iraqi security forces vehicles drive through Shuhadaa neighborhood in Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: Reuters
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Iraqi forces foiled a terror operation to smuggle powerful explosives into the country on Tuesday in the latest attempt to combat ISIS sleeper cells.

The army prevented 18 bags of TNT, weighing 500 kilograms, from entering the country from Syria, the Security Media Cell said.

"The process of seizing the explosive materials took place after the formation of a specialised team and the follow-up by thermal cameras at the borders," it said.

The army collaborated with intelligence and counter-terrorism services.

“A group of people were monitored in a car attempting to bring these materials from Syria into Iraq through the village of Naim, which is adjacent to the border,” said the Security Media Cell.

Although Iraq claimed victory over the terror group in late 2017, ISIS has continued to carry out sporadic attacks across the country.

Iraqi forces killed a senior ISIS leader in the south on Tuesday.

"The Iraqi army's Samarra Operations, managed to kill the terrorist, [nicknamed Abu Rahma], during clashes with the terrorist group while they were trying to rob one of the shops in Qadiriyah area, north of Samarra," army spokesman Maj Gen Yahya Rasool said.

Searching for terrorists

Gen Rasool said the terrorist was an ISIS militant leader for West Samarra and security forces were still searching for the other terrorists who escaped.

ISIS controlled about one third of Iraq and Syria from mid-2014 until late 2017. An international coalition led by the US was formed to assist Iraqi forces in their battle against the terrorists in 2014.

Washington is planning a withdrawal of its troops from Iraq by the end of this year. The US has 2,500 troops among the 3,500 members of the international anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq. During the past year it decreased its forces that were stationed to help combat ISIS, from nearly 5,000.

Updated: September 28, 2021, 2:27 PM