The expanding threats and destructive movements of ISIS remnants in Iraq in recent days raise the question of who woke up ISIS's sleeper cells and what are the characteristics of the new round of movements of this terrorist group?

Iran Presscommentary: The complete defeat of ISIS in Iraq and the preservation of its territorial integrity was announced in 2018. However, all members of the ISIS terrorist group were not killed in Iraq or did not leave the country; yet, some elements of the group, including Iraqi or non-Iraqi, remained in different parts of the country and waited for the opportunity to resume their activities.

Iraq's political instability was an opportunity for ISIS's sleeper cells. During the October 1, 2019 demonstrations in Iraq, the remnants of ISIS have played a major role in turning the protests into violence.

However, the important point is that these remnants in Iraq did not have the power and capabilities to pose serious threats. Their new moves, which began on October 1, 2019, in recent days have become a serious security threat to Iraq's popular mobilization forces (PMU); the measures that are supported by domestic dissidents, regional opponents of the resistance movement and led by the US.

Unlike ISIS from 2014 to 2018, the sleeper cells do not have geographical ambitions, but merely play the role of "tools" against the resistance. it may be argued that they are the mercenaries of the opponents to pose a threat against the popular mobilization forces in Iraq.

As PMU commanders have pointed out, the ISIS's sleeper cells use state-of-the-art, mostly US-made weapons. According to Sadegh al-Husseini, head of the security committee of Diyala provincial council, 90 percent of ISIS's weapons, especially those of that province, are American made weapons that have been obtained from the US stockpiles or through US allies.

Another issue is the target community of ISIS sleeper cells in Iraq. The recent operations of these ISIS cells are a return to the group's life in Iraq from 2011 to 2014 when it carried out only suicide attacks and bombing operations. The difference was that between 2011 and 2014, mostly civilians were targeted and basically there was no PMU to target to attack; yet, most members of the popular mobilization forces and Iraqi security forces are being targeted by ISIS survivors.

These characteristics show that the sleeper cells and remnants of ISIS in Iraq are under the control of the US and domestic or regional pro-American regimes, especially Saudi Arabia.

Former Iraqi Interior Minister Baqer al-Zubaidi wrote: "ISIS is widely supported by regional and international powers and domestic parties that have failed in their soft war projects and are, therefore, they returned to their older habit of supporting terrorism and remnants of the ISIS.

ISIS remnants have taken off their masks in Iraq in recent months, and if a new cabinet is formed, talks between the US and Iraq on the presence of US troops in Iraq are set to take place next month. The escalation of ISIS's threats is Washington's premature bargaining for future talks to prolong its presence in Iraq by escalating the ISIS threat.

Therefore, increasing the movement and threats of ISIS's cells in Iraq is desirable for the United States and domestic and regional pro-American forces and regimes. 212/104

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