Over a dozen Iraqi forces, civilians killed or wounded in ISIS attacks in 4 provinces

Members of the so-called Islamic State launched a series of new attacks on Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) on Friday in Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahuddin, and Baghdad provinces, resulting in several casualties, informed sources said on Saturday.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Members of the so-called Islamic State launched a series of new attacks on Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) on Friday in Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahuddin, and Baghdad provinces, resulting in several casualties, informed sources said on Saturday.

This marks the latest wave of attacks by the terrorist group, which has mainly focused its operations in the vicinity of territories disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal Iraqi government.

These areas have long suffered what Kurdish officials have described as a "security vacuum," which Islamic State remnants have exploited to continue waging an insurgency, attacking security forces outposts and civilians.

The incidents come after days of crop fires that tore through hundreds of acres of land across the country, including in Kirkuk province. Locals suspect Islamic State remnants have been behind at least some of the Kirkuk fires.

Read More: Fires destroy hundreds of acres in Iraq's disputed Kirkuk; ISIS claims Diyala incidents

On Wednesday, the Global anti-Islamic State Coalition carried out an airstrike on a cave in the southwestern desert of Hatra, Nineveh province, reportedly killing at least seven members of the terrorist group. This marked the latest of recent Coalition efforts against the militant group amid a general uptick in terrorist activity.

Read More: ISIS continues bloody attacks through much of Iraq during holy month of Ramadan

 

Kirkuk

A security source told Kurdistan 24 that a number of gunmen attacked a joint army and police checkpoint in the town of Dibs, northwest of Kirkuk city, wounding a police officer.

Salahuddin

Suspected members of the terrorist organization opened fire on a security checkpoint in the town of Dujail, south of the city of Tikrit, killing one policeman and wounding another.

Security sources also confirmed that an Islamic State cell attacked a local police post in the town of Yathrib, south of Samarra city, wounding three police officers.

Diyala

Another suspected group of terrorists launched an attack on a Tribal Mobilization Forces (TMF) unit--which are Sunni counterparts to the Shia PMF--in the town of Miqdadiya, killing one civilian and a TMF member, according to official sources.

The Security Media Cell, Iraq's military communications center, also stated that the attack targeted the security point between the villages of Shaqraq and Joggak, wounding several others.

In a separate attack, an improvised explosive device (IED) bombing of a militia convoy killed three and wounded two fighters in Diyala's Hawi-Athem area.

 Funeral ceremony of the three PMF members killed in the explosion in Diyala. (Photo: PMF)
Funeral ceremony of the three PMF members killed in the explosion in Diyala. (Photo: PMF)

Baghdad

Security sources told Kurdistan 24 that suspected Islamic State remnants kidnapped a youth in Tarmiyah, a town north of Baghdad, before beheading him and disposing of the body in a garden. The Security Media Cell later confirmed this incident.

Before the kidnapping, a ranked Iraqi security forces officer and a soldier were killed in a bombing that targeted an army checkpoint in Tarmiyah. Four other soldiers were wounded.

Iraq announced its "final victory" over the Islamic State in late 2017. However, the group has continued to launch regular attacks, including bombings, kidnappings, and ambushes against Iraqi and Kurdish forces, and civilians across the country.

The security void in disputed territories between areas protected by Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces sometimes reaches up to 20 kilometers deep. The rugged, barren terrain that is often seen in such areas has been a haven for Islamic State fighters who use it as a base from which to plan and launch attacks in surrounding settlements and towns.

Editing by Khrush Najari