Kurdish leader stresses ISIS still a serious threat after attack kills 2 Peshmerga
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The so-called Islamic State remains a serious threat, said Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani on Wednesday, a day after members of the terrorist organization killed two Kurdish Peshmerga forces in an attack.
“Last night's terrorist attack in the Garmiyan area which resulted in the martyrdom of 2 Peshmerga forces is a reminder that the #ISIS terrorists continue to constitute a threat,” said Masoud Barzani in a tweet.
“It is imperative that the anti-terrorism efforts by Erbil, Baghdad and the coalition remain a priority.”
In his statement on the incident, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said, “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and relatives of the two fallen Peshmerga heroes, Surkew Rashid and Ismaeil Fars, who lost their lives last night while repelling an attack by ISIS terrorists in Kulajo village, Garmian region.”
The incident occurred in the south of the autonomous region in the small town of Kulajo, located within the Garmiyan Administration, an unofficial province in the Kurdistan Region that includes the three districts Kalar, Kifri, and Chamchamal.
These areas neighbor others disputed by the federal Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and are protected by Kurdish security forces (Asayish) and Peshmerga troops.
The attackers are thought to have infiltrated Kulajo from land next to the town that is only once such stretch of territory where a lack of presence by federal and regional troops has created a security vacuum. These areas, usually tracts of inhospitable land, continue to be exploited by remnants of the terrorist organization to plan and launch terrorist attacks on nearby towns and cities.
Rural parts of Garmiyan, as well as other areas of contested claim, have been the site of repeated terrorist activity, including armed assaults, bombings, and kidnappings.
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The terror group has recently intensified its operations in apparent efforts to exploit diverted attention by the security forces due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The disease has infected over 1,100 people across the country despite strict measures instituted by both Erbil and Baghdad to contain it.
Editing by John J. Catherine