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Smoke rises after an U.S. airstrike, while the Iraqi army pushes into Topzawa village during the operation against Islamic State militants near Bashiqa, near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016..(Photo by: AHMED JADALLAH / REUTERS)
Car bombing south of Mosul breaks post-ISIS calm
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
10/23/2018
Mosul was liberated from Islamic State in July 2017 and has been free from major terrorist attacks in the last year.
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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