Aziz Ahmad is an assistant to the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council. (February 2019)

Follow Aziz Ahmad on Twitter: @azizkahmad.


Undefeated, ISIS Is Back in Iraq

An Islamic State flag spraypainted on a wall in West Mosul, Iraq, July 2017

The intelligence my colleagues and I have collected is disturbing: over the past fifteen months, hundreds of attacks linked to ISIS have taken place in areas that were supposed to have been liberated. Islamic State fighters have regrouped in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahaddin, and parts of Anbar—territory they know well. In towns and villages across the country’s northwest, these guerrillas are mounting ambushes against Iraqi security forces in attacks the scale of which has not been seen in years. Even in parts of Mosul itself, the northern city reconquered in 2017 by government forces after a long and costly campaign, the ominous black-and-white ISIS flag has flown again in recent months, causing panic and fear among the civilian population.