Plenty of weapons were found in sweep through Anbar Ninewa and Salahddin but very few Islamic State members (Buratha News)
In April the Islamic State started a new campaign in Iraq. In response, the government announced a large sweep through Anbar, Ninewa and Salahaddin to cut off the Islamic State’s supply lines. These large operations usually have little to no effect upon the insurgency for a number of reasons.
The Joint Operations Command announced the new security sweep on May 17. It said the focus would be upon cutting the Islamic State’s supply lines through the desert regions of northern Anbar into southern Ninewa and western Salahaddin. It was also meant to secure the electricity lines and stop fields from being burned in those areas. The government constantly has these types of large scale security operations. The problem is they are easily detected which allows the insurgents to escape before they even start. Because they are of short duration as well, the militants move right back into the cleared areas afterward.
This recent operation was no exception. While plenty of IEDs, tunnels, and camps were found hardly any IS members were captured or killed. On the first day for instance, the security forces in Salahaddin claimed they discovered three IS fighters who were killed after being surrounded along with 2 tunnels, 7 dens, and 12 IEDs. Anbar and Ninewa had the same results. The operation was declared a success on May 19. Besides the 3 dead IS members, only four others were arrested. That was proof that the militants fled the area. It’s hard to consider this a triumph when so few insurgents were eliminated. The supply lines were not cut either, because the security forces did not stay in these areas. Without a permanent presence in the countryside and deserts the Islamic State has free reign. These were the same tactics the United States used before the 2007 Surge and proved just as futile gaining the name whack a mole because when one area was hit the insurgents would pop up in another.
Buratha News, “Al-Anbar: Destruction of 3 secret tunnels and defusing various weapons with the campaign of Lions of Jazeera,” 5/17/20
Al Forat, “The security media reveals the achievements of the Lions of Jazeera up until now,” 5/17/20
Al Maalomah, “Anbar crowd announces inspection of 40 desert areas during Lions of Jazeera,” 5/19/20
- “Joint operations reveal new goals of the Black Lions operation,” 5/18/20
- “A spokesman for the Commander in Chief announces the details of the operation Lions of Jazeera,” 5/18/20
Al Mada, “The Lions of Jazeera cut off ISIS transportation routes and destroyed camps and explosions in 4 governorates,” 5/18/20
NINA, “/10/ explosive devices detonated during the clearing of a camp between Anna and Rawah,” 5/18/20
- “14 IEDs, 5 Tunnels And 5 Dens Of Terrorists Destroyed During the Lions of Al-Jazeera Operations,” 5/17/20
- “During the operations of Lions of the Island .. 4 nests of terrorists, a tunnel and three explosive devices found,” 5/17/20
- “The launch of /The Lions of the Island operations / against ISIS,” 5/17/20
- “Launching a military operation to enhance security and stability in Al- Jazeera area/ expanded,” 5/17/20
- “The PMF Cleans Vast Areas Of Salah al-Din Desert And Destroy “ISIS Shelters,” 5/17/20
Al Sumaria, “West Ninewa operations announce the cutting of ISIS transportation routes in the desert,” 5/18/20