In Rudaw 

Two ISIS militants arrested crossing border from Syria: Iraqi security media cell

Iraqi forces arrested two Islamic State (ISIS) militants crossing the border from Syria, one of whom committed crimes against Yazidis, Iraq’s security media cell announced on Monday.

The ISIS militants were detected with thermal cameras crossing the border from Syria into Iraq, the security media cell said.

One of them was responsible for planting booby-traps in the town of Baaj in Nineveh province, and the other was a so-called leader of raid forces and “participated in the captivity of the Yazidis,” it added.

In other action against the terror group, airstrikes targeted tunnels used by ISIS militants south of the provincial capital of Mosul, the cell said on Sunday.

Shingal, the heartland of Iraq’s Yazidi ethnoreligious minority, was overrun by ISIS in August 2014. Thousands were summarily executed, and more than 6,000 kidnapped and sold as slaves. More than 2,000 remain missing, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis.

The crimes against Yazidis have been recognized by many states as genocide.

Despite coordination and cooperation between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Iraqi army to carry out military operations on the Syria-Iraq border and capture ISIS remnants, the terror group has been able to smuggle fighters and weapons through the border in recent years.

Nineveh province lies across the border from Syria’s Hasaka and Deir ez-Zor provinces, both of which are vulnerable to ISIS attacks. The group is particularly active in Deir ez-Zor, where members of the Kurdish-led SDF are often targeted.

The SDF carried out an operation to capture ISIS militants on the Iraq-Syria border last week.

In February, security forces said nearly 100 ISIS militants had entered crossed the border into Nineveh province in the space of one week.

ISIS militants continue to wreak havoc in both Iraq and Syria even after they were territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017 and in Syria in March 2019. The militants remain a threat on both sides of the border, carrying out bombings, hit-and-run attacks, and abductions.