ISIS’ ‘Southern Division’ praises foreign suicide bombers


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s “Southern Iraq Division” praised eight foreign fighters who conducted suicide attacks in the province of Babil.

Images of the eight foreign suicide bombers were published on the Twitter feed of the ISIS’ Southern Iraq Division. The eight suicide bombers included “three Moroccans, two Tunisians, one Jordanian, one Saudi, and a man who was unidentified,” according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained the images. “No information was provided about their operations, or biographical data other than their country of origin,” SITE stated.

The ISIS has previously recently released similar propaganda that lauds foreign suicide bombers. In the beginning of March, the ISIS’ “Baghdad Division” published the photographs of 30 suicide bombers, including 24 foreigners from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The short martyrdom statements for the fighters included the dates of their deaths as well as the operations in which they were involved. [See LWJ report, Dane, Uzbek among 30 suicide bombers eulogized by ISIS.]

ISIS’ wilayats

The Southern Division and the Baghdad Division are two of the ISIS’ 16 wilayats, or provinces or administrative districts, that span both Iraq and Syria.

A map of the ISIS’ administrative areas, including the 16 wilayats, was published earlier this year. The ISIS map was obtained by The Long War Journal.

A legend (in the blue area in the bottom left hand corner) reads “Areas of presence or control; The Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham.” The map details the 16 administrative districts, which are divided largely along existing provincial boundaries in both Iraq and Syria.

The Southern Division, which released the images of the eight foreign suicide bombers, is based in Babil province, located just south of Baghdad.

The Anbar Division is the largest in Iraq, and one of the most active. The ISIS controls Fallujah and other cities and towns along the Euphrates River Valley. Just recently, the ISIS held a parade that included captured Iraqi military hardware in Abu Ghraib, a city only two miles outside Baghdad. [See LWJ report, ISIS parades on outskirts of Baghdad.]

In Syria, the ISIS’ seat of power is in Raqqah province. Top ISIS leaders, including Abu Bakr al Baghdadi a.k.a. Abu Dua, are known to have visited the city of Raqqah, the provincial capital.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s 16 wilayats:

In Iraq:

Southern Division

Diyala Division

Baghdad Division

Kirkuk Division

Salahuddin Division

Anbar Division

Ninewa Division

In Syria:

Al Barakah Division (Hasaka)

Al Kheir Division (Deir al Zour)

Al Raqqah Division

Al Badiya Division

Halab [Aleppo] Division

Idlib Division

Hama Division

Damascus Division

Coast [Al Sahel] Division

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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