Continued ISIS attacks in north Iraq kill 2 security force members
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On late Saturday evening, two separate attacks by the Islamic State in the disputed Iraqi province of Kirkuk and the city of Mosul lead to the death of two members of the national security forces and injuring another.
In Kirkuk, an Islamic State sleeper cell targeted a checkpoint in the village of Mateqi Kakai in Daquq district, leading to multiple clashes.
Sources from Daquq hospitals stated that, after the attack, the body of one Iraqi force member and another two injured arrived at the hospital, while a security source confirmed that the attack took place at 8:45 p.m. at a security checkpoint on the village’s main road and that Iraqi troops managed to kill two Islamic State fighters.
At the same time, Iraq’s Security Cell confirmed that remnants of the Islamic State also attacked the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) militias in the al-Hamdanya area of Nineveh province, killing one militiaman.
Killings and other insurgent-style operations have continued with disturbing regularity, notably in Iraq's disputed territories, over two years after the Islamic State lost all its territorial claims in Iraq and Baghdad declared a final victory over the extremist organization.
The security void in areas between territory protected by Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces reaches, in some areas, up to 20 kilometers deep. The rugged, barren terrain that is often seen in such areas has been a haven for Islamic State fighters to use as a base from which to plan and launch attacks in surrounding settlements and towns.
Recently, members of the extremist group have carried out a series of terrorist attacks on both Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in such areas in or near other disputed territories, killing dozens and also kidnapping civilians by setting up fake security checkpoints in efforts to abduct civilians for ransom.
Officials from Kurdistan, along with civilians in the disputed territories, have often called for a long-term joint security plan between Erbil and Baghdad to fill the often deadly security gaps. So far, however, Baghdad has not meaningfully addressed the issue.
Editing by John J. Catherine