Car bomb tar­gets Mo­sul

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

More than a year af­ter Mo­sul was lib­er­ated from Is­lamic State, a bomb ex­ploded next to a restau­rant in western Mo­sul on Thurs­day evening. It killed sev­eral and in­jured a dozen, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal re­ports and the de­fense min­istry in Iraq. It is the sec­ond at­tack in a week in the area and shows that ter­ror­ists are in­creas­ingly at­tempt­ing to in­fil­trate ur­ban ar­eas of Iraq.

In the last months there have been nu­mer­ous at­tacks in cities be­tween Baghdad and Mo­sul. Many of th­ese were in ru­ral ar­eas, but car bombs have be­come com­mon once again, a re­minder of the waves of bomb­ings that killed thou­sands in Iraq af­ter an in­sur­gency broke out in 2004.

ISIS was de­feated in Iraq last year and the govern­ment de­clared ma­jor com­bat op­er­a­tions at an end. The US-led coali­tion also has said ISIS has been de­feated in Iraq, but the Coali­tion con­tin­ues to con­duct strikes.

On Oc­to­ber 27, air strikes tar­geted ISIS “bed down lo­ca­tions, two caves and one bunker” near Kirkuk and in the An­bar prov­ince. On Oc­to­ber 25, an­other strike hit an ISIS tun­nel and cave sys­tem near Tal Afar. Tal Afar is an hour and a half drive from Mo­sul, and ISIS mem­bers use th­ese ar­eas to con­tinue op­er­a­tions. De­spite the ex­is­tence of dozens of check­points on the roads, ISIS is able to con­tinue to at­tack.

Restau­rants have been tar­geted in the past. In Fe­bru­ary 2017, a well-known restau­rant whose name trans­lates as Fair Lady was struck in Mo­sul.

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