Terror in Daesh Claims Three
Three suicide attacks claimed by Daesh killed at least 74 people in southern Iraq on Thursday, a health official and police sources said, suggesting a shift in the ultra-hardline group's tactics since it lost control of its stronghold in Mosul.
Iraqi officials say the Daesh militants are likely to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq after their self-proclaimed caliphate in Mosul collapsed.
Daesh is also under siege in the Syrian city of Raqqa, its operational base for attacks in the Middle East and the West.
Thursday's attack killed at least 74 people, including seven Iranians, and left another 93 wounded, said Abdel Hussein al-Jabri, deputy health chief for the mainly Shia province of Dhiqar.
Security officials described Thursday's attacks as an attempt to send a message to Daesh followers that the group is still strong and can operate in other parts of Iraq following its territorial losses.
"After losing the war in Iraq and the shrinking of its power, Daesh returned back to its old style of an insurgency, by carrying out suicide attacks, which is a clear sign that the terrorist group is retreating," said police intelligence Colonel Murtatha al-Yassiri.
Daesh activity is usually concentrated in western and northern Iraq. Bomb attacks in the mostly Shia south, where the bulk of the country's oil is produced and security forces hold a tighter grip, have so far been relatively rare.
Like its predecessor in Iraq, al Qaeda, Daesh seeks to create sectarian tensions as a way to destabilise the OPEC oil producer.
"We expect more alike terrorist operations in future. Daesh is trying to desperately pretend among followers that it's still strong," al Yassiri said.