In spite of using large amounts of heavy weapons, including heavy artillery, Iraqi troops have not been very successful in their offensive in Anbar

In spite of using large amounts of heavy weapons, including heavy artillery, Iraqi troops have not been very successful in their offensive in Anbar

At the end of almost 30 days since the start of a massive Iraqi military offensive in the Anbar province, against the ISIL forces, no really major results are visible, a recent text published by Al Jazeera is reporting. While the governmental actions are “showing few signs of progress”, open sources say that “ISIL still controls much of the territory and hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced”[1]. Local authorities in the few towns still not under the control of ISIL are facing increasing problems, because “as fighting intensifies between ISIL and government forces, the human flow is worsening”[2].

ISIL suicide bomber kills two Iraqi generals

More than this, at least in some occasions, ISIL is clearly able to make significant tactical and operational gains. A few days ago, open sources are reporting, an ISIL suicide bomber. On August 27, 2015, “two senior Iraqi commanders have been killed and 10 others injured in a suicide car bomb attack north of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, where fierce fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group is continuing”, local sources quoted by Al Jazeera are reporting. The the generals killed by the ISIL suicide attack are, according to open sources, “Brigadier Abderahman Muqtada Abu al-Ris, deputy Anbar Commander and Brigadier Safin Abdelmajid, commander of the 10th division”[3] of the Iraqi Army.

ISIL possibly confronted with an increasing problem: its European fighters

But, even it is still controlling the largest part of Anbar and large territories in Syria, ISIL if facing several  increasing problems.  Some data very recently made public by an UK-based non-governmental source seem to indicate that ISIL has problems in attempting to very tightly control its foreign fighters, many of them coming from Europe. The UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights reported that, between July 29 and August 29, ISIL had killed, in Syria, “at least 91 people,... including 39 people from its own ranks”. The same open source is stating that “since the declaration of its so-called ‘Islamic Caliphate’ in June last year, ISIL has executed 182 of its own members who had been captured trying to flee the group and return home”[4]. If these figures are accurate, an average number of 14-15 ISIL members is killed, each month, for trying to abandon the movement. The 39 killed along the past 30 days (a number 2.5 times larger than the average monthly level along the past 13 months) seem to indicate a change change of the mood of some ISIL fighters, and Al Jazeera is reporting that “several reports had emerged of European fighters wanting to return home but were afraid for their lives”[5].

[1] “Thousands stranded in Iraq's front-line town”, Al Jazeera, August 30, 2015, text accessed at the Internet address

[2] Ibidem

[3] “Senior Iraqi commanders killed in ISIL suicide blast”, Al Jazeera, August 27, 2015, text accessed at the Internet address

[4] “ISIL 'executed dozens of fighters trying to flee'”, Al Jazeera, August 30, 2015, at the Internet address

[5] Ibidem

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