Hundreds of Suspected Daesh Militants Surrender in Iraq: Source
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Several hundred suspected Daesh (ISIL) militants surrendered last week to Kurdish authorities after the terror group lost its last stronghold in northern Iraq, a security official said Tuesday.
The suspects were part of a group of men who fled toward Kurdish-held lines when Iraqi forces captured the Daesh base in Hawija, the Kurdish official told Reuters, asking not to be identified.
The report of militants fleeing, rather than fighting to the finish as in previous battles, suggested their morale may be fading, said Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert on Daesh affairs.
"They no longer seem to believe in the cause," Hashimi said.
"Approximately 1,000 men surrendered over the last week. Not all, however, are terrorists," said the security official in Erbil, the northern Iraqi base of the Kurdistan semi-autonomous Regional Government.
They handed themselves in to Peshmerga forces in the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, east of Hawija, he said. "It's fair to say hundreds probably are ISIS [Daesh] members, but that will be clear after the debriefs," he said.
The town of Hawija and surrounding areas fell on Oct. 5 in an offensive by Iraqi government troops and Popular Mobilization Forces.