Iran arrests ISIS-linked jihadist cell on border with Iraq

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IRGC special forces. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – Iranian security forces have detained a number of suspects linked to the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) near the country’s western border with Iraq, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said on Sunday. 

“The security forces were tracking down a militant group that intended to destabilize Iran’s security,” he told reporters in Tehran. 

Jafari said that one of the terror group’s networks was identified and arrested in Kermanshah province in western Iran. 

The Iranian official did not disclose how these ISIS-linked members have been arrested and the whereabouts of the operation.

“The remaining groups are now under surveillance,” Jafari said, stressing “they will be captured at the proper time.” 

The IRGC head pointed out that “terrorists” employ “diverse logistic networks”.

Iran has been heavily engaged in the conflict in Syria and Iraq under the pretext of combatting ISIS. In Syria, Iran has made apparent efforts to bolster the faltering regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against moderate rebels. In Iraq, it has remarkably backed the mostly-Shiite government, building a major sectarian force there under the banner “Popular Mobilization Forces”. 

Iran is known as the largest Shiite power in the Middle East. It has been supporting Shiite movements in Iraq,  Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere against rival Sunni political and military forces. 

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have been sent to Syria and Iraq at the invitation of both countries’ governments in order to back their military forces on ground against ISIS and opposition groups. 

Jafari stressed that Iran has imposed strict security measures in order to avoid possible terror attacks by ISIS.

“Without security precautions by the government, ISIS could have launched terror attacks in Iran,” he said.

“They (ISIS) might carry out small attacks, but they cannot disturb stability in Iran as happened in other countries,” he argued. 

On Saturday, the Iranian ministry of information said it killed members of “terrorist cells” who had planned to carry out bombings in two provinces in the country. 

“The security forces captured members of a terrorist cell in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan, who had planned to launch terror attacks with the use of 150 kilograms of explosives.”

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri 

Source: ARA News

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