ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US-led coalition aircraft, along with Peshmerga support, killed 10 so-called Islamic State members on Monday during an air raid on the borders of the disputed Makhmour district border southwest of Erbil.
Sirwan Barzani, a Peshmerga Commander at the Gwer-Makhmour front line, told Kurdistan 24 that the airstrikes “lasted two days, and targeted Islamic State positions in the Qarachokh mountain.”
“There is solid coordination between Peshmerga, Iraqi forces, and the coalition who closely observe the remaining terrorists’ movements in the area,” the commander added.
The airstrike comes after an increase in Islamic State sleeper cell activity in certain villages within the district of Makhmour.
The villages have been evacuated due to the constant Islamic State threats and sudden insurgent attacks in the area which target civilians, especially in the areas that are remote and far from the district center where security is weak.
A security source from the Iraqi army told local media that the terrorist group had “established bases close to the villages and used them as launching pads to attack Iraqi security forces and civilians.”
The security void between Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in some of the disputed areas reaches up to 20 kilometers with suitable terrain from trees and hills providing cover for terrorist movements in the region.
Officials from Kurdistan, along with civilians in the disputed territories, have often called for a long-term joint security plan between the Peshmerga forces and the ISF to fill the security gaps in the disputed areas. However, so far, there has been no solid attempt from Baghdad to address the problem.
Although Iraq previously declared a “final victory” against the terrorist organization in December 2017, the so-called Islamic State continues to carry out sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in previously liberated areas.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany