June 26, 2019

SDF arrest 5 ISIS sleeper cell members in Manbij, Raqqa

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Kurdistan 24

Journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg

Counterterrorism units linked to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested five members of the so-called Islamic State among sleeper cells in Raqqa and Manbij, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF press office in northeast Syria, wrote on Twitter that counterterrorism units had detained the five Islamic State members in “two separate successful raids in Raqqa and Manbij countryside.”

Counterterrorism units had also recently arrested four Islamic State sleeper cells in the Hasakah province, including Abu Bashir, a senior Islamic State leader on June 21.

“The authorities thank the citizens of the town for their cooperation and for remaining indoors while the operation was carried out,” Bali said at the time.

The SDF official called on citizens to report criminal activity in their areas to the local Kurdish-led forces.

A roadmap published by the US-led coalition for the defeat of the Islamic State following a meeting of senior coalition officials in Paris on Tuesday also underlined the threat of active sleeper cells.

Read the full article and more in Kurdistan 24.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...