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World News

Vicar of Baghdad warns Islamic State is returning to Iraq 'in force'

A prominent church leader from the Iraqi capital of Baghdad has warned that the Islamic State is mounting an increasingly ferocious resurgence across the country. Canon Andrew White suggested that with coronavirus saturating the mainstream media coverage, this terrifying surge of ISIS activity is being passed over and must be brought to the public's attention immediately. 

"NEW MEGA CRISIS IN IRAQ," Canon Andrew White wrote on Facebook. "Amongst all the Corona Virus news there has been no mention of the massive crisis in Iraq. Many people have been killed by gun fire and morters. The sad fact is ISIS has returned in force. Some politician friends say it is like ISIS returning on steroids. They seem more empowerd now than ever before. We need serious prayer that order will be restoredi. Things are truly desperate."

Following a brutal three-year military campaign, the Iraqi army declared victory over ISIS back in 2017. Then, in October 2019, a US-led assault in Syria's northwestern Idlib Province resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Despite these setbacks, ISIS has reportedly been regaining its footing by exploiting the recent territorial disputes between Iraq’s central government and the autonomous Kurdish areas in the north. Experts believe that President Trump's much-criticised decision to order a drawdown of US troops from the region may have also played a part in the resurgence.

ISIS fighters launched a series of attacks on Iraqi security forces over the weekend, some of which were less than 100 miles from Baghdad. The fighters were reported to have killed 10 Iraqi militia members in the city of Samarra, along with six members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) in Mekeeshfa, which is located around 60 miles north of Baghdad.

At the height of its insurgency, ISIS controlled a third of Iraq and Syria.

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