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Sat Jul 19, 2014, 06:17 AM

New militant group replacing ‘Islamic State’ jihadists in Mosul, says Iraqi city’s governor

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/18/new-militant-group-replacing-islamic-state-jihadists-in-mosul-says-iraqi-citys-governor/



New militant group replacing ‘Islamic State’ jihadists in Mosul, says Iraqi city’s governor
By Luke Harding, The Guardian
Friday, July 18, 2014 10:37 EDT

Isis fighters have partially withdrawn from Iraq’s second city, Mosul, where another militant group – closely linked to former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime – has taken over large areas, according to the city’s governor.

In an interview with the Guardian the governor, Atheel Nujaifi, who escaped from Mosul last month, said the Islamic State’s main “strike force” had withdrawn from the city to fight the Iraqi army further south in Tikrit, he said. A smaller number of local Isis supporters remained in Mosul’s western part, known as the right bank, he said.

Last month Isis staged a stunning advance, seizing Mosul and Tikrit, and raising the spectre of Iraq’s collapse. On Tuesday the Iraqi army was forced to retreat from Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, 100 miles north of Baghdad, after its latest attempt to retake the city met heavy Isis resistance.

But according to Nujaifi, most of the eastern half of Mosul is now dominated by the Naqshbandi Army, a group led by high-ranking Saddam-era Ba’athists including Izzat al-Douri, the king of clubs in the US deck of “wanted Iraqi” playing cards. Naqshbandi militants had taken down Isis flags from “a lot of buildings” and replaced them with their own, he said. Other sources inside Mosul confirmed that Isis fighters began to withdraw from the city about a week ago.

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