ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Saturday morning, US-led coalition warplanes repeatedly targeted what is thought to be remnants of the Islamic State (IS) near Makhmour, located outside Mosul and on the southeastern outskirts of Erbil Province.
The bombing was specifically aimed at villages near Mount Qarachukh, an area that has seen recent reports of a resurgence in IS activity.
An officer in the Peshmerga told Kurdistan 24 that members of the jihadist organization taking refuge both near and on the mountain sustained casualties in the bombardment, but that he did not know the extent or how many.
The attack comes two days after the most recent largescale bombing in Nineveh Province when a car bomb went off near a restaurant Iraqi security forces are known to frequent.
Local media said it was the second VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) "in less than a week inside Mosul, this time in a crowded area close to Abu Layla restaurant [which] left five injured, three killed.”
On Sunday, the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) warned that acts of terrorism involving car bombs are re-emerging and that assassinations of village leaders and attacks on the local electrical grid remain persistent in Iraq's disputed territories.
The KRSC’s statistics for October indicate “a re-emergence of VBIED-based attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul,” the Kurdish security agency said in a tweet.
According to casualty figures the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) recorded for October, 69 civilians were killed, and another 105 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence, and armed conflict in the country.
UNAMI said the figures were the lowest monthly casualty numbers since the organization began publishing them in November 2012. Ján Kubiš, Iraq's Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, described the update as “a positive indicator and shows that the country is gradually coming out of the cycle of violence.”
Bombings, ambushes, and other insurgent-style attacks thought to be carried out by IS, however, remain a constant presence in Iraq's headlines.
According to a UN report released on Tuesday, more than 200 mass graves containing the remains of thousands of victims have been discovered in areas formerly controlled by IS in the provinces of Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salahuddin, and Anbar.
The report highlights the legacy of IS’ relentless campaign of terror and violence, as well as victims’ calls for truth and justice.
“The majority of the sites are in close proximity to Mosul, the largest city to be controlled by ISIL until 2017, and in the area of Sinjar [Shingal] district, which is predominately inhabited by members of the Yazidi [Ezidi] community."