ISIS in Iraq Trying to Regroup North of Baghdad

Group using new supply routes, trying to rely on female operatives

After months of trying to reassert power out of its desert holdings in Syria, ISIS is also looking to regroup in Iraq, in the area north of Baghdad and south of Kurdistan, hoping tensions between Iraq and the Iraqi Kurds will create an opportunity.

Iraqi officials say ISIS has activated cells comprised of women in the area, trying to use them for transportation because they can move around without attracting as much suspicion.

Iraq believes ISIS is increasingly dependent on the women, because so many of the men have been identified and are being tracked. The women are generally wives and relatives who they say are easily recruited.

Concern about the region remains, particularly after the last ISIS war was followed with military action against the Kurds. This has the Kurds reluctant to do heavy lifting in the fighting, and impatient with the central government to do something.

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.