On the evening of 20 February, according to the Security Media Center and other sources, a Falcon Intelligence Cell detachment in cooperation with the Nineveh Operations Command, intelligence personnel from 66th Brigade, 20th Iraqi Army Division, and PMF, ambushed an Opel Vectra vehicle transporting five insurgents travelling in a vehicle on Majarin – Buwayr Road near Abu Kuddur Village, located west of Mosul in the Badush Sub-District. Five alleged suicide bombers armed with explosive belts were killed as they were trapped inside their burning vehicle. The number of explosive belts could not be confirmed due to the fire. No other weapons were specified as being recovered.
It is important to digest the 20 February events beyond the oversimplification represented by a purported intelligence-drive ambush killing multiple suicide bombers. Specific details concerning the circumstances surrounding this incident was predictably withheld. In conjunction with the above noted increased security concerns, it is possible that this incident involved opportunistic circumstances of ISF encountering and engaging a suspicious vehicle travelling in the area. It is likely that the individuals were insurgents as claimed given the lack of local reporting discussing potential inadvertent civilian casualties. As regularly discussed, deliberate suicide attacks are rare, with explosive belts regularly used as a weapon of last resort to avoid capture during infiltration, routine attacks, and other activities.