ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The so-called Islamic State (IS) continues to pose a threat in previously liberated areas, and disputed regions, the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said on Monday.
In a series of tweets on its official page, the KRSC warned of an increase in unrest and IS attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul during September.
“ISIS and unknown fighters were linked to at least 22 attacks [in September]; more than 25 IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices] targeted Iraqi security forces and civilians, and 9 kidnapping incidents and 5 grenade attacks were also logged,” the Security Council tweeted.
“Arrests and ISIS infiltrators have also emerged with increasing regularity.”
In October 2017, Iraqi forces and Iran-backed militias advanced with tanks to drive Kurdish Peshmerga forces from Kirkuk and other disputed territories. The move was Baghdad’s response to the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum a month earlier.
However, since then, the areas have experienced waves of instability as civilians complain the Iraqi forces are incapable of protecting them from terror as the Peshmerga did.
The KRSC underlined that attacks on the homes of Iraqi security forces and figures “continued on a regular basis” in September, and the destruction of “electricity infrastructure [has] become a feature.”
During September, unrest increased in Kirkuk and Mosul, among other areas. ISIS attacks increased, sometimes targeting multiple villages at once; IEDs continued on a regular basis, and hits on ISF/PMF homes and figures, and electricity infrastructure have become a feature.— KR Security Council (@KRSCPress) October 22, 2018
Despite Iraq declaring a “final victory” against the extremist group last December, IS continues to launch sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in previously liberated areas.
On Oct. 20, Iraqi forces targeted and dismantled at least 40 positions belonging to the extremist group in Diyala province. According to a Police Captain, the security operation resulted in the death of two IS militants.
Earlier in the month, two operations, carried out over a three-day period from Oct. 6 to 9, resulted in the capture of 10 people suspected of being part of a key IS “financial facilitation group” in coordination with the Iraqi government.
On Oct. 9, the Kurdistan Region’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) released footage of the joint operation with coalition forces where they arrested a significant group of IS financers. Stacks of money and weapons were confiscated during the raid.