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ISIS expands in areas around Baghdad

Witnesses report that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has been entering cities surrounding Baghdad, raising al-Qaeda flags and leaving before the arrival of security forces.
Iraqi security forces personnel are seen during clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Babel province south of Baghdad, April 2, 2014. Four members of the ISIL and one member of Iraqi security forces were killed during clashes, according to an Iraqi Army officer. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT) - RTR3JPFM

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has expanded its activity in the areas surrounding Baghdad, making public appearances in the region of Buhriz in the Diyala province (east of Baghdad) and in Nibai (north of Baghdad) in an effort to clamp down on the capital and to transfer the battle from Fallujah to new regions. 

Security sources told Al-Monitor that Qara Tapa in Baquba has recently been added to the list of areas chosen by ISIS to organize a media appearance. Towns like Sulaiman Bek, al-Azim and Muqdadiyah in the east and north of the Babil province have witnessed similar appearances. This raises questions about the goals of ISIS and the responses of the Iraqi security forces, specifically in relation to the way ISIS emerged in these towns and then withdrew.

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