Security forces in Raqqa bust ISIS sleeper cell
Security forces in Syria’s Raqqa on Sunday arrested six people who were allegedly involved in Islamic State sleeper cell activities.
Raqqa Internal Security Forces (RISF), a police unit formed in 2017 after the fall of the Islamic State in the area, launched a crackdown on remaining cells over the weekend.
“The security forces in Raqqa have arrested six individuals who are directly responsible for explosions and attacks on civilians in the city of Raqqa,” the media center for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement.
“These six individuals were trying to instill fear and instability in Raqqa among civilians.”
Despite the SDF and the US-led coalition announcing the defeat of the extremist group’s so-called caliphate on March 23, Islamic State sleeper cell attacks continue as security forces continue to detain militants in previously liberated territories.
On March 25, seven fighters were killed in the city of Manbij—an attack the Islamic State claimed.
Senior SDF officials have called for continued support from the Global Coalition to fight sleeper cells and prevent the terror group’s resurgence.
According to Nicholas A. Heras, a Middle East security analyst at the Center for a New American Security, the Islamic State’s defeat in Baghouz “represents the beginning of the more treacherous campaign to prevent the reemergence of ISIS.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a war monitor group, estimates that there are at least 4,000 to 5,000 active Islamic State members in Syria’s northeast.