Islamic State releases pictures from fighting in Jurf al Sahkar

The Islamic State, in the wake of the Iraqi military claiming to have retaken the town of Jurf al Sahkar in northern Babil province, has released photos purporting to show their fighters in action against the Iraqi military and Shiite militias. The pictures were disseminated on Twitter by the jihadist group’s supporters after being posted elsewhere online. The Islamic State has taken to releasing its propaganda this way after the social media site began to crackdown on its official accounts.

The pictures bear the title of Wilayat Junub (southern province), as the Iraqi province of Babil makes up this administrative district of the Islamic State.

The Iraqi military, backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias, claimed to have cleared the Islamic State from Jurf al Sahkar, a contested town in northern Babil province, on Oct. 25 after heavy fighting. Iraqi officials said that 300 Islamic State fighters and 67 soldiers and Shiite militiamen were killed. [See LWJ report, Iraqi forces, Kurds claim success against Islamic State near Baghdad and Mosul.]

It is unclear if these pictures were taken recently or they are old file pictures meant to give the illusion that Islamic State fighters are still in Jurf al Sahkar. Some supporters of the group have discussed on Twitter that fighters do indeed remain in the town battling the Iraqi military and their Shiite militia allies. In the past eight months, the Iraqi military has claimed to have liberated Jurf al Sakhar numerous times. [See LWJ report, US air campaign against Islamic State expands to southwestern Baghdad]

Below are the pictures from Jurf al Sahkar:

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Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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