ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish security forces (Asayish) on Monday announced they had arrested three alleged Islamic State members in the Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani and Garmiyan areas.
The three men, two of them aged 35 and the other 43, had previously “carried out a number of terrorist acts in the areas of Hawija, Hamrin, and Mosul,” Garmiyan Asayish said in a statement.
The three mentioned areas have previously been strongholds of the Islamic State, which continues to occupy barren lands in the Hamrin Mountains. From there the group conducts its insurgent campaign in surrounding regions, namely in those contested between the Erbil and Baghdad administrations.
The group of three held “many responsibilities” within the terrorist organization, the Asayish claimed, adding that after the Islamic State’s territorial collapse in Iraq, they had fled to the Kurdistan Region and settled in Sulaimani Province’s Darbandikhan areas.
The statement highlighted that “the third suspect [named] Shaeeb, was arrested in cooperation with Sulaimani Asayish Operation.”
“During their interrogation, they confessed to a number of terrorist acts, partaking in skirmishes, and planting bombs.”
Kurdish intelligence and security forces have arrested multiple members of the Islamic State, a group that emerged in mid-2014 and quickly took over one-third of Iraq before it was militarily defeated three years later.
In mid-January, the Kurdistan Region’s Counter-Terrorism service announced it had arrested two “terrorists” belonging to the Islamic State in the capital of Erbil.
Despite the passing of more than a year since Baghdad declared final victory over the Islamic State, the group continues to conduct attacks in areas it once controlled, carrying out kidnappings, assassinations, and bombings that have raised fears of a new stage of heightened insurgency.
Editing by Nadia Riva