Summary: Security incidents during this reporting period included five operations by Iraqi security forces (ISF) that led to the arrest of at least 18 suspected terrorists in various parts of Ninewa and the discovery of small amounts of weapons. Meanwhile, militants carried out two attacks in which two civilians were killed, one of whom a village mukhtar, and police also found the bodies of two other civilians who were killed by gunfire. There was also one improvised explosive device (IED) explosion that killed two more civilians. South of Mosul, ISIS militants attacked popular mobilization forces (PMF) positions without reports of casualties, and the ISF took strict security measures in Qayyara and Hamam al-Alil on suspicion of infiltration by militants. The week also saw the opening of a new police station in one village in the Bashiqa area.
Note: locations are approximate
On December 13, the military intelligence directorate said its forces arrested a suspected terrorist in Qayyara while attempting to cross from Mosul to the Kurdistan region.
On December 14, one of our community based monitors (CMBs) said that authorities have officially assigned the security of the Qayyara – Mosul road to a PMF unit known as Regiment 48, Fursan al-Jubour.
On December 15, an IED, thought to be left over from the ISIS occupation period, exploded in the Ayadhiya subdistrict west of Mosul, killing two civilians.
On December 15, the Ministry of Defense said intelligence units from the 16th division of the Iraqi army broke up and arrested a terrorist cell of eight members in the Albu Saif area in the Hamam al-Alil subdistruct south of Mosul. The ministry said the suspects were planning attacks designed to spread fear of ISIS resurgence.
On December 16, local police found the bodies of two young men in the Islah Zera’ie area in west Mosul. The bodies showed signs of gunshot wounds.
On December 16, PMF press sources said PMF units repulsed what was described as a heavy attack by ISIS militants in the al-Hadhar district south of Mosul.
On December 16, the Ninewa operations command said it imposed a curfew in all of Hamam al-Alil subdistict south of Mosul to allow security and intelligence forces to conduct a large search operation in light of reports about ISIS militants infiltrating the region. The Ninewa commander said the curfew would continue until the search is complete and residents’ names are verified.
On December 17, ISIS militants attacked the village of Beshmana in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosuland killed a local resident. The attackers were reportedly wearing military uniforms as disguise. There was no information on their numbers or the vehicles they used.
On December 17, one of our CBMs said that the Ninewa police opened a new police station in Bashiqa subdistrict east of Mosul. The new station is located in the Omar Qabji village and is called the Khorsebad junction station.
On December 17, the Ninewa police arrested a person suspected of being an ISIS fighter during the occupation of Mosul. Police found weapons and munitions inside the suspect’s home, which is located in the al-Noor neighborhood in east Mosul.
On December 18, police sources said that unidentified militants assassinated the mukhtar of the Jurn village in the Shora subdistrict south of Mosul.
On December 18, our CBMs said that Niewa SWAT forces cordoned off the residential district of the Qayyara base to conduct a search and verification operation after ISIS activity was reported in the Qayyara district the previous night.
On December 19, a security source said the ISF arrested a suspected terrorist who intended to distribute money to families with suspected links to ISIS fighters. The suspect was arrested in the al-Noor neighborhood in east Mosul with $1,600 in cash. The source added that weapons were found buried in the suspect’s yard.
On December 19, the Ninewa police arrested seven suspected ISIS members in the Wadi Hajar neighborhood in west Mosul and took them in for further interrogation.
Officially launched in June 2019, Ninewa-ISHM and Security Bulletins utilize information collected from community-based monitors; Iraq-based Arabic, Kurdish, and English news sources; data from aid agencies; and social media posts, verified and fact-checked by EPIC’s research team. This weekly bulletin is part of Safe Return, a project to support the safe and voluntary return of IDPs who have survived severe human rights abuses to their homes in Ninewa. Safe Return is made possible with the generous support of the American people through USAID in partnership with Heartland Alliance International .