Sources: Rifts Widening among ISIL Ranks in Iraq’s Baiji
“The Iraqi popular forces’ intelligence leaders have been informed that after ISIL’s numerous defeats in repeated offensives on the town of Baiji, serious gaps have surfaced among ISIL branches in that region,” an Iraqi security source told FNA on Wednesday.
The source said that among these groups mention can be made to al-Ansar. The Chechnian group has threatened to withdraw from regions near Baiji to return to Syria.
The Iraqi forces started operations to purge Baiji of terrorists few months ago, and later took full control of the city, its refinery and its surrounding areas.
But in early September reports said that the Takfiri terrorists took back some parts of Baiji after two weeks of heavy attacks on the region.
In a relevant development on Tuesday, Iraqi security forces backed by volunteer troops thwarted an ISIL attack on the outskirts of Baiji.
“The ISIL terrorists launched an offensive on al-Siniyah town of Baiji, but the Iraqi forces foiled the attack,” a statement by the Iraqi volunteer forces said.
Tens of ISIL terrorists were killed and a large number of their vehicle destroyed in the Iraqi forces’ counterattack.
Also, on Sunday, informed sources said that the Iraqi Army and popular forces of Hashed al-Shaabi had started fresh round of massive operations to re-seize control over Baiji.
The sources said that the Iraqi forces and Hashed Al-Shaabi, launched their latest offensive to recapture their lost territory in Baiji and to weaken the terrorist group’s influence over the town of Al-Siniyah.
Following the offensive’s announcement by the Iraqi defense minister, the Iraqi forces and popular committees stormed the Al-Tamim Neighborhood in Baiji, capturing it from the terrorist group after killing 19 militants.