Four Iraqi soldiers killed in renewed IS attacks in Kirkuk

A Kurdish MP in the Iraqi Parliament emphasized the need for Iraqi forces to collaborate with Peshmerga "to stabilize the security situation" in Kirkuk.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Four members of the Iraqi security forces on Wednesday were killed and two others wounded in two separate incidents in Kirkuk Province.

A security source reported the deaths of two Iraqi intelligence officers in a northern city of Kirkuk amid the rise of violence following the Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Shia Hash al-Shaabi militias attack on Peshmerga forces in the province.

Unknown armed men opened fire on two officers working at Kirkuk’s Intelligence and Security Directorate in the Shoraw neighborhood, north of the city, killing both of them at the scene, the source said.

In another incident on Tuesday night, a roadside bomb by the Islamic State (IS) targeted an Iraqi army convoy in the town of Gaida in southern Kirkuk killing two soldiers, Gen. Ali Omran, commander of Kirkuk operations, said.

The army commander added that following the blast, armed men opened fire at the convoy, wounding two soldiers before fleeing the area.

Contrary to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s early December announcement of the end of IS in Iraq, the extremist group’s sleeper cells continue to launch attacks and claim lives.

Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the US-led coalition against IS, previously told there were about 1,000 remaining IS fighters across Iraq and Syria.

On Oct. 16, Iraqi forces and the Hashd al-Shaabi attacked and took over the oil-rich and multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk which had been under the protection of Peshmerga since 2014 following the emergence of IS and collapse of the Iraqi army.

Shakhawan Abdullah, an Iraqi MP from Kirkuk and a Member of the Parliament’s Security Committee, warned about the collapse of large areas in the province to IS extremists as reports of daily kidnappings, killings, and armed attacks increase.

The Kurdish MP emphasized the need for Iraqi forces to collaborate with Peshmerga “to stabilize the security situation, and fill the security vacuum created following the incidents on Oct. 16.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany