"As clearance operations get underway in Mosul, the Islamic State will likely replicate this approach, deactivating and dispersing its military units and reinforcing its intelligence, security, administrative and financial groups," the report stated on Tuesday.
By hiding its military units, the terror group could still effectively rule the city through extortion, intimidation and assassination, only to resurface when coalition forces shift their focus elsewhere, the report pointed out.
Daesh fighters used a similar strategy from 2004 to 2009, only to publicly surface when US forces departed in 2010, the report noted.
The report also urged the coalition of Iraqi and US-led forces to anticipate the strategy and target enabler elements to prevent operatives from hiding from coalition forces while remaining in plain sight of the city’s civilian population.
Daesh expelled Iraqi forces from Mosul in 2014 and designated the city as the Iraqi capital of a self-proclaimed caliphate.