ISIS attack kills 5 militiamen in Kirkuk as Iraqi PM orders anti-terror operations
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Islamic State gunmen attacked a Hashd al-Shaabi unit in the disputed province of Kirkuk amid a general uptick in terrorist attacks in the region. In response, Prime Minister of Iraq’s caretaker government, Adil Abdul Mahdi, has ordered an anti-ISIS operation in three provinces.
The latest incident reportedly occurred Saturday morning in the Danadish area of Kirkuk’s Hawija district. Islamic State militants took advantage of adverse weather conditions and attacked a unit of the 56th Brigades of the Shia-majority militias, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
“The attack resulted in deaths of two Hashd al-Shaabi members, and wounded three others,” a source told Shafaaq news.
Just a day earlier, an explosion rocked the city of Kirkuk, targeting a police car, killing at least one officer.
The province, which is part of disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq, has witnessed a series of attacks since last week.
Multiple Islamic State attacks have occurred in the northern parts of Diyala province as well, on both the KRG-controlled and Iraqi sides. The Peshmerga forces deployed reinforcements to the area to bolster defenses against further assaults.
Related Article: ISIS gunmen wound 5 Iraqi security forces as Diyala attacks continue
Abdul Mahdi ordered on Saturday the launch of a military operation against sleeper cells of the terrorist organization in the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk, and Nineveh. Islamic State militants have long exploited remote areas of all three territories, especially where there is a security vacuum, to plan attacks in surrounding regions.
Iraqi forces were carrying out counterterrorism operations, part of a campaign dubbed “Will of Victory,” almost every week. However, these efforts were halted due to ongoing unrest in the country since protests began over two months ago.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany