JERUSALEM, Israel - The Washington Post reported Sunday that hundreds of ISIS terrorists have returned to Iraq from Syria and are waging guerilla warfare in that country.
Approximately 1,000 terrorists have streamed into Iraq in the last eight months, according to security analyst Hisham al-Hishami.
The Iraqi government announced that it had beaten ISIS in 2017, but most of these terrorists are escaping the defeat of their so-called caliphate in Syria.
The terrorists are finding their way back into Iraq thanks to a network of insurgents there. They are also aided by their intimate knowledge of the terrain.
"Look at where they're hiding. It's deserts. It's caves. It's places no one can ever fully control," Col. Saad Mohammed, an Iraqi army officer who participated in the campaign to defeat the Caliphate, told the Washington Post. "How many units would we need to secure every inch? Too many. No one has that capacity."
Iraqi security forces announced the beginning of a new military campaign to secure its border with Syria. The forces reportedly discovered bomb-making factories there.
According to the report, ISIS terrorists target community leaders and security forces in attacks outside major cities.
They often attack at night using snipers and roadside bombs.
The Post reports that a few weeks ago, two motorcyclists were killed in an explosion in the northern city of Kirkuk.
ISIS also targeted militiamen in a separate attack in the eastern Iraqi city of Diyala.
Many of the Iraqi communities bear the scars of previous ISIS control in Iraq. The Post reports that some civilians are sharing valuable intelligence with Iraq's security forces.
"In 2013 and 2014, it's now clear that many people did not fully understand what ISIS was, or how it was meaningfully different to other groups opposing the state," Sam Heller, an expert with the International Crisis Group told The Post. "Now, a lot of these same communities have collectively expelled [anyone] with a perceived link."