A “mysterious blast” killed ISIS commander Abu Taha al-Iraqi and three other militants on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces on January 30.
A day earlier, ISIS executioner Abu Sayyaf, who killed at least 100 people, was ambushed and stabbed to death in Mosul by unknown assailants.
Last week ISIS commander Abu Abdel Rahman was shot and killed by unknown gunmen.
These sudden attacks are thought to be revenge killings as ISIS loses its grip on control as it is driven back. The People’s Mobilization Units, paramilitary auxiliaries attached to the U.S. army, reported killing 50 ISIS fighters who were attempting to flee from the Iraq into Syria, according to the military analysis website southfront.org, which cited “multiple pro-government sources.”
The Iraqi provincial government in Salahuddin Province is also taking a strict line against the families of ISIS recruits. They targeted some 345 families from Tikrit who have at least one family member in the Islamic State and evicted them from their homes, confining them to a nearby refugee camp.
The goal, according to officials, is to make ISIS fighters pay a steep personal cost for their actions.
“Our aim is to defy the terrorists and send a stern message to the families,” said Amar Hekmat, the deputy governor.