DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:45 P.M.) – ISIS sleeper cells are causing trouble behind government lines in Iraq as the hardline group gradually transitions away from the idea of an actual caliphate, opting instead for an underground insurgency.

A series of images were published by Amaq Agency on Sunday showing two Iraqi soldiers being gunned down by Islamic State sharpshooters at a couple checkpoints in the eastern province of Diyala, located off the border with Iran. Both the Iraqi flag and that of Imam Ali could be seen at the targeted locations:

Diyala represents a religiously diverse province but several hundred ISIS cells are said to be operational across the governorate. The region has been known to be a jihadist hotbed since Al-Qaeda linked militants established a series of camps here back in 2006.

In response, the Iraqi Army launched a major counter-insurgency operation in Diyala Province last week, hoping to utilize local informants and newly arrived reinforcements to uncover ISIS hideouts.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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