ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The only way to end sporadic attacks by Islamic State sleeper cells on innocent people in Makhmour is to launch an operation in the Qarachokh Mountain, a Peshmerga Commander said on Tuesday.
Peshmerga Commander of the Gwer-Makhmour front Sirwan Barzani made the comments after the terror group launched an attack against farmers living in the Ali Rash village in Makhmour, burning their lands and crops.
According to Commander Barzani, Islamic State sleeper cells had attacked several villages in the area three days ago, burning fields and crops and demanding taxes in exchange for security.
“This is only a fraction of the menace as ISIS continues to terrorize the people, threatening their safety, and spreading fear in the area,” he told Kurdistan 24.
On Tuesday, the terrorists “targeted the agricultural lands that were left unharmed in the previous attack three days ago,” Commander Barzani added.
The only solution, he suggested, is a wide-range operation to clean the mountain region from any Islamic State hideouts.
“We have sent an official request to Baghdad to authorize the Peshmerga forces to launch a military operation.”
Tuesday’s attack comes after a delegation of farmers from Makhmour visited the autonomous Kurdistan Region’s parliament on Sunday to present their concerns to the top Kurdish legislative body, calling for increased security in the disputed district.
Makhmour is a disputed territory located on the outskirts of the Kurdistan Region’s capital, some 60 kilometers southwest of Erbil. Following the liberation of Mosul, Islamic State militants gathered in surrounding disputed and vulnerable areas, such as Makhmour and its Mount Qarachokh.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany