ISIL Bans Own Commanders’ Families to Exit Al-Sharqat
“This decision by the ISIL came after the number of ISIL commanders and terrorists fleeing al-Sharqat increased sharply and the terrorist group is on the verge of collapse,” the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an unnamed source as saying on Saturday.
The ISIL intends to use its commanders’ families as human shield to block the future military advances by the Iraqi security forces.
In a relevant development earlier on Saturday, informed Iraqi sources disclosed that ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has pardoned a large number of terrorists jailed for fleeing the war zone in the city of al-Sharqat and sent them to the battlefields to make up for the shortage of militants.
“Al-Baghdadi has ordered tens of ISIL terrorists who had been arrested for disobedience and fleeing the war to be pardoned and sent to war with the Iraqi army,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed provincial source in Salahuddin province as saying.
The source reiterated that the ISIL is facing acute shortage of militants as it has lost a large number of them in tough battles with the government forces in different areas, including Hamreen.
Earlier in August, in formed sources disclosed that a group of senior ISIL commanders voiced their allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawaheri and staged a coup against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Southwestern parts of Kirkuk province.
“This move by the ISIL commanders in Kirkuk province will be a heavy blow to the ISIL,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military sources as saying.
The source noted that the coup will paly an important role in widening the rift among the ISIL commanders in other Iraqi province, including Nineveh.
In mid-July, political analysts underscored that the death of Abu Omar al-Shishani, a top military adviser to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will accelerate the terrorist group’s complete break down in both Iraq and Syria.
“Al-Shishani was the top official in charge of planning and coordinating the ISIL’s military operations in Iraq and Syria, recruitment of fresh forces in Caucasus, the top commander of thousands of ISIL fighters form Chechnya and the mastermind behind the capture of Mosul in Northern Iraq, therefore, his absence in leadership of ISIL will incur heavy costs on the groups,” the analysts underlined.
“Al-Shishani was a charismatic figure amongst ISIL’s top commanders. He was actually a symbol of ISIL’s international plans to expand their territories across the historical lands of the so-called Islamic Caliphates,” Russian expert Sergei Brustakov said, adding, “Death of al-Shishani will leave negative impacts on the unity of the terrorist groups affiliated to the ISIL, I mean the ISIL can not find a charismatic commander similar to al-Shishani to unite its forces.”
“On the other hand, al-Shishani’s absence will bring about very good opportunity for the other terrorist groups, mainly al-Nusra Front, to attract fresh forces without any serious rival,” the Russian expert said.
Reports said in mid-July that the ISIL terrorist group eventually admitted that the murderous red-bearded militant, also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani, was killed.
The revelation, published by ISIL mouthpiece Amaq Agency, came four months after several sources publicly reported al-Shishani’s death.
Omar the Chechen was born in 1986 in Georgia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, and had a reputation as a top military adviser to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Born with the name Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, the notorious militant once fought as a rebel in Chechnya before joining Georgia’s military in 2006.
He fought against Russian troops before being discharged two years later for medical reasons, according to US officials.
He was arrested in 2010 for weapons possession and spent more than a year in jail, before leaving Georgia in 2012 for Istanbul and then Syria, a US official said. The militants then joined the ISIL group and pledged allegiance to Baghdadi and joined ISIL in 2013.
His death is one of the most successful operations to take out ISIL leadership in Iraq and Syria since May, when special operations forces killed the man who directed the group’s oil, gas and financial operations.