ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Three Kurdish Peshmerga forces were killed repelling an Islamic State attack late Wednesday night in a disputed town in the Iraqi province of Diyala.
The onslaught began with mortar shells being fired at Peshmerga forces and developed into a ground assault on Kulajo, located in the Garmiyan administrative district, which is protected by Peshmerga forces.
A statement from the Ministry of Peshmerga confirmed the attack which was “in Kulajo area, which is the Peshmerga's frontline position between Khanaqin and Garmyan,” adding that, despite their casualties, the Kurdish forces foiled the attack.
“Previously, we have warned against ISIS increasing its activities and resurging in the area to the public and to the International Coalition against ISIS,” it continued, saying that the attack was proof that the extremist group still poses a dire threat.
“We are requesting that the international coalition against ISIS intensify their support and coordination with Peshmerga forces to prevent the resurrection of the terrorist group ISIS in certain areas.”
Separate Islamic State attacks in Diyala on Sunday left at least five people dead and dozens more injured.
A source in Garmiyan told Kurdistan 24 that Islamic State fighters attacked the Islah village near Jalawla, where they clashed with Iraqi forces. “At least six people were wounded, and one dead in the melee,” the source said, without elaborating further.
Elsewhere, an Islamic State attack at an oil site in Jalawla near the Khanaqin – Baqubah road left at least four Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) militia members dead, and 16 others injured, the source said. Iraqi media reported nearly 50 injuries.
Despite Iraq having declared a military defeat against the terror group in late 2017, the Islamic State continues to pose a threat in the region.
On Friday, the extremist group attacked a small town in Garmiyan, killing three and injuring eight others, including two children.
On Saturday, separate bombings in the disputed province of Kirkuk left at least 16 people injured, security and health officials said.
Officials in the Kurdistan Region have often called on the relevant authorities to address the root causes that led to the rise of the Islamic State, warning that the group’s ideology remains a risk.
Editing by John J. Catherine