Anglican Vicar Andrew White Says ISIS Has ‘Returned in Force’ to Iraq and Seems ‘More Empowered Now Than Ever Before’

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic “caliphate” after the group captured territory in neighboring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. | (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

As Muslims celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and as governments try to combat the spread of COVID-19, there has been a resurgence of deadly attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq over two years after the group’s territorial defeat. 

According to reports, militants aligned with the jihadi group have launched a series of attacks in the last week as they are trying to take advantage of gaps in security protection in Iraq.

Attacks in Iraq’s Diyala and Salahuddin provinces have resulted in the killings of security personnel and have also damaged sources of electricity.

“Amongst all the Corona Virus news there has been no mention of the massive crisis in Iraq,” Andrew White, an Anglican vicar who spent years serving in Baghdad, warned followers on Facebook. “Many people have been killed by gun fire and mortars. The sad fact is ISIS has returned in force.”

The Rev. Canon Andrew White speaks at a lunch discussion hosted by the Washington-based Institute on Religion & Democracy on December 3, 2015, in Washington D.C. | (Photo: The Christian Post/Samuel Smith)

“Some politician friends say it is like ISIS returning on steroids,” White added. “They seem more empowered now than ever before. We need serious prayer that order will be restored. Things are truly desperate.”

The attacks are creating fear that the militant group is resurging as governments are devoting their resources to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to The Military Times.

Since its territorial defeat in late 2017, the Islamic State had lost the ability to carry out large-scale military operations. The group has also gone into hiding with reports that militants are quartered now in caves located in northern Iraq.

“It’s a real threat,” Qubad Talabani, deputy prime minister of the northern Kurdish region of Iraq, told the news outlet. “They are mobilizing and killing us in the north and they will start hitting Baghdad soon.”

According to Talabani, the Islamic State is taking advantage of a “gap” between Kurdish forces and the Iraqi military in Iraq.

Salahuddin council member Subhan Jiyad told Al-Monitor that the first of several Islamic State attacks in a 24-hour period began just before devout Muslim security personnel was set to enjoy a pre-dawn meal last Saturday, May 2.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith