Home Headline News ISIS surrenders in droves at stronghold in Iraq by Diana Chandler

ISIS surrenders in droves at stronghold in Iraq by Diana Chandler

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HAWIJA, Iraq (BP) — Islamic State fighters surrendered en masse to Kurdish Iraqi forces in Hawija, shriveling the jihad army to perhaps a 10th of its size when it invaded Iraq in 2014, according to widespread news reports.

About 1,000 jihadists surrendered over a span of three days as Iraq recaptured the Islamic State stronghold of Hawija Oct. 5, ending two weeks of fighting, the New York Times reported Oct. 8.

Today, a scant 3,000 Islamic State troops (also known as IS or ISIS) remain in Iraq, controlling a few towns and villages stretching along the Euphrates River in Iraq and Syria, USA Today reported after the Kurdish victory. ISIS troops were estimated to number 30,000 when the brutal terrorists first attempted in 2014 to establish caliphates or governments ruled by Sharia law in Iraq, killing and displacing Christians and other religious minorities.

The surrender came as the trials began in northern Nigeria for about 1,600 captured suspects of Boko Haram, the Associated Press reported today (Oct. 10). Boko Haram, which has fought to establish caliphates in the region of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad over the past decade or so, has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

The defeated ISIS troops in Iraq are in sharp contrast to the reputation ISIS had built of suicide bombers and fighters proud to die for the cause of radical Islam, the Times reported. About a fourth of those who surrendered in Hawija were hardline jihadists, with the remaining composed of reluctant conscripts and men who described themselves as cooks or clerks, or said they had only fought a few months, the Times said.

During interrogations after their surrender, one ISIS member said the group’s terror in Iraq was coming to an end, wrote Times reporter Rod Nordland as an eyewitness to interrogations in Dibis, Iraq.

“This is the end of this state,” Nordland quoted a fighter identified as Maytham Muhammed Mohemin. “I believe if the [ISIS] governors are telling us to surrender, it really means that this is the end.”

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