ISIS Launches Counterattack South of Mosul

Officials Insist Move Is a 'Diversion' From Major City

Iraqi officials are downplaying an incident today in which ISIS forces attacked and captured the village of Imam Gharbi, along the Tigris River, saying they believe the attack, which killed a number of people, was simply “diversionary” and meant to distract from their losses in Mosul.

With Mosul, the last big ISIS city in Iraq, having nearly completely fallen to a protracted invasion, ISIS in Iraq is expected to go back to insurgent tactics, with smaller temporary attacks in areas instead of serious attempts to gain large pieces of territory, at least for now.

At the same time, Imam Gharbi doesn’t appear to have been a random target, as control over the village has forced the UN to shutter aid operations for refugees housed near Qayara, and that may have been the point, further fueling distrust between the Iraqi government and the local Sunni population.

Iraq has declared “victory” in Mosul several times in the past couple of weeks, and once again insists “final victory” is imminent, though even optimistic estimates say Mosul still has hundreds of ISIS fighters within, and the invading army seems more interested in hassling the civilian population than anything else.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.