ISIS is supposed to have gone away. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared “final victory” over the group last December after his troops, allied with Kurdish fighters and Shia militia, and supported by U.S. airstrikes and military advisers, pushed the insurgents out of Iraq’s cities. At the peak of their powers in 2014, ISIS had controlled a vast swath of territory across the Iraq-Syria border. U.S. military officials say isis has now been driven out of 98 percent of the territory it once controlled. But the group has reappeared in central Iraq, carrying out attacks in what The Washington Post described as “chillingly reminiscent of the kind of tactics that characterized the … insurgency in the years before 2014.” All this despite the billions the U.S. and its allies have spent to bolster Iraq’s security, its civic institutions, and its infrastructure.This week’s suicide attack in al-Qaim, a district in Anbar province that is near the border with Syria, killed at least eight people. Separately, a suicide bombing in Kirkuk killed two police officers. ISIS is active in both areas.
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