Iraq's capital prepares for ISIS attack - CBS 5 - KPHO

Iraq's capital prepares for ISIS attack

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Baghdad was eerily quiet last week, and everyone is on edge, anticipating spectacular bombings and sleeper cells emerging. (Source: CNN) Baghdad was eerily quiet last week, and everyone is on edge, anticipating spectacular bombings and sleeper cells emerging. (Source: CNN)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Baghdad is hunkered down for a fight.

For now, the fighting has stayed out of the capital, but security forces know that will likely change.

As they're bracing for battle, the weak links in their defense become evident.

Baghdad's airport is about 1.5 miles away from the first outer perimeter of defense, with fighting positions set up all along it. The boundary they are using is natural; it's the canal down below.

There are seven similar concentric lines of defense between there and the front line, about a 20 minute drive away, which is allegedly still being held by Shi'a militiamen that once fought the Americans.

Baghdad was eerily quiet last week, and everyone is on edge, anticipating spectacular bombings and sleeper cells emerging.

That is especially of concern close to Baghdad's airport and the capital’s western edge.

The security forces are seeing a lot of activity at night, especially after 2 a.m., but they don't know exactly what those cars are doing.

The activity is quite suspicious because of the hour, and this is one of the areas, because it is predominantly Sunni, that people are quite concerned about ISIS having sympathizers if not sleeper cells.

Shi'a Brig. Gen. Ali Abdul Razzak said he doesn't want to turn it into a sectarian matter, but he says, "This area has safe havens. Wherever you see Sunni areas, you will have safe havens."

Men with the Badr brigade - Shi'a Iraqis trained in Iran to fight Saddam Hussein’s regime joined U.S. forces as the U.S. invaded Iraq and then announced they would become a political movement.

Officially, at least, they are taking up arms for the first time in more than a decade, as Iraqi security forces desperately need reinforcement.

A house next to a cell phone tower is one of the locations where they have been seeing quite a bit of this suspicious activity at fairly odd hours, but they haven't yet been able to secure the permission to go in and search it.

So they watch and wait, bracing themselves for battle.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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