After ISIS attacks, Kurdistan Region deploys more Peshmerga to Garmiyan
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Peshmerga leadership has deployed additional military reinforcements to the Kurdistan Region's southern Garmiyan area after recent deadly terrorist attacks by the so-called Islamic State.
In two separate attacks within a week, sleeper cells of the extremist organization killed six Kurdish security force (Asayish) members and Peshmerga fighters in the Kulajo region, located in the Garmiyan administrative district, which is protected by Peshmerga forces.
The Garmiyan Administration is an unofficial province in the Kurdistan Region that includes the three districts of Kalar, Kifri, and Chamchamal, in territory disputed between Baghdad and Erbil.
The latest incident occurred late Wednesday when three Peshmerga forces were killed while repelling an Islamic State attack.
The onslaught began with mortar shells being fired at Peshmerga forces and developed into a ground assault on Kulajo.
Another terrorist attack nearby reportedly left at least five members of the Iraqi security forces dead with dozens more injured. The insurgents carried out the recent operations in areas close to where Iraqi security forces launched a series of anti-terrorist operations in recent months aiming to curb Islamic State activity.
After the uptick in the group's attacks, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga decided to send reinforcements to the region in anticipation of further incidents.
The deployments included military equipment and troops to Kulajo, which is adjacent to a sprawling strip of land that separates forces from the Kurdistan Region and federal Iraqi troops.
Kurdistan Region Vice President Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa paid a visit to a Peshmerga position in the region this week. Speaking to Kurdistan 24 on Friday, he reiterated the security threat the Islamic State continues to pose in the region.
“Da’esh [ISIS] movements and attacks have recently increased in these areas and have led to a number of martyrs and injuries to the Peshmerga and [other] security forces,” he said.
“Military reinforcements were deployed to the region to fill a void and prevent Da’esh attacks,” Mustafa added, noting that the terrorist organization “has reorganized its ranks and adopted guerrilla-style fighting tactics.”
The senior Kurdish official affirmed that a lack of security coordination between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces had emboldened the Islamic State to roam more-or-less freely in these areas and launch attacks with increasing impunity.
Regional President Nechirvan Barzani called on relevant authorities on Thursday “to intensify efforts” and resolve “the crisis in Iraq to restore stability.”
The attack on Peshmerga “proves the fact that ISIS is not over and remains a threat to security and stability, and that the war to eliminate the enemy of humanity is ongoing,” President Barzani stated.
Late on Friday, another Islamic State attack 20 kilometers south of Kulajo near Jalawla reportedly wounded two Iraqi federal police officers.
Editing by John J. Catherine