Long promoting the use of arson — both of occupied structures and of tinder-dry wildlands — as a cheap terror tactic that requires little skill but can inflict immense fear and harm, ISIS claims the terror group is behind a series of wildfires in Iraq and Syria.
In the group’s official weekly newsletter, al-Naba, ISIS said the targets were “apostates” whose “hearts have long been burned” and vowed the blazes are “just the beginning.”
ISIS also emphasized the economic impact of the fires, noting “many agricultural lands have been destroyed” and “tons of crops,” including wheat and barley, went up in flames in the jihadists’ “harvest of another kind.”
ISIS has officially claimed responsibility for a series of fires that burned hundreds of acres of farmlands in Iraq and Syria over the last few weeks
Here are #Sentinel2 🇪🇺🛰 images acquired on 23 May in Syria’s Aleppo and Homs Governorates showing wildfires that could be related pic.twitter.com/vImJusTpBg
— Copernicus EU (@CopernicusEU) May 25, 2019
— Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis (@MidEast_Center) May 24, 2019
ISIS noted at the beginning of the al-Naba article that it’s summer; terror groups, in encouraging the use of wildfire arson in the past, have stressed that picking dry, hot, windy weather will intensify their efforts.
Iraq’s Civil Defense Directorate said Monday 6,103 acres of farmland had burned in 136 separate fires over the past 18 days, spanning 11 provinces. The statement did not confirm nor deny ISIS’ claim of responsibility, but the provinces most harmed — Salahuddin, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Diyala — correspond with areas already suffering under ISIS’ escalating guerrilla campaign that has included kidnappings and murders.
SOURCE: Bridget Johnson
Homeland Security Today