Recently, a number of terrorist activities have been reported in the countries Iraq and Syria, both of which have been engaged in a perpetual battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which includes attacks on civilians, oil fields, and military positions.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief of the United Nations had called for unity amongst countries in order to end the health crisis and requested a ceasefire between countries at the battle as he termed the coronavirus infection a ‘global war’.
However, the ISIS, also known as ISIL (Islamic State of Syria and Leviant), has continued targeting civilians populations and army headquarters.
In fact, the current situation has reportedly provided an advantage to the terrorist organization in launching more terrorist attacks since the majority of the countries including both Iraq and Syria are facing hardships in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The virus has been a distraction from all battles and therefore has given opportunities to terrorist organizations such as ISIL to further its agenda and launch an increased number of attacks.
Currently, the security officials in Iraq have estimated that over two thousand fighters from the ISIL are present in the country. On the other hand, five hundred fighters have also reportedly escaped from Syria, leading to a surge in crimes and terrorism.
In the past week, a terrorist attack near a government building in the city of Kirkuk in Iraq killed three security guards. The attack was done by a suicide bomber who was a fighter for ISIL.
Additionally, ten soldiers from the Iraqi Military were killed during a three-pronged attack near the capital of the country, Baghdad, in the Salahaddin province.
In Syria, two oil fields were severely damaged due to violence and ongoing terrorist activities of the Islamic state. Around thirty-two Syrian soldiers also lost their lives in a two-day fight with ISIL fighter near Homs.
Qubad Talabani, the prime minister of Northern Iraq, states that the increase in activities of the Islamic State during the COVID-19 pandemic is a big security threat to the entire country.
He also added that ‘They are mobilizing and killing us in the north and they will start hitting Baghdad soon,’
Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the designed prime minister of the country has further highlighted the rising danger in the country while remembering the soldiers who were killed during the ISIL-led attacks on the second of May.
‘This attack reflects a desperate attempt to capitalize on the state of political rivalry which has impeded the formation of a new government that will work to protect and secure its citizens,’ He added.
According to the locals of Iraq, the Islamic State has mobilized a greater force which is also more organized. Therefore, the attacks are also planned and have been successful in causing significant damage.
The violence of the activities by the ISIL is not only limited to areas near the capital and major cities but has reached the most remote areas of the country.
Kujalo, which is a small village located in the barren center, has seen an increase in terrorist activities in the past few days.
The locals have reported that the fighters of the Islamic State have not only increased in number but have started targeting all areas of the country to elevate violence levels on a mass scale.
Such an increase in terrorist activities poses a threat to not only Iraq and Syria but also the rest of the world as there is an ongoing health crisis.
There was a resurgence in the attacks as soon as the government had decreased the soldiers by half due to the worries related to COVID-19. Additionally, the US-led coalition forces have also returned from various military bases due to the health crisis.
At the moment, Iraq has reported over two thousand cases of COVID-19. However, the number is likely more than estimated, and terrorist attacks can increase it even further with the strained healthcare system of the country.