ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Islamic State (IS) militants who attacked Kirkuk on Friday took advantage of a security gap between Peshmerga and Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi in southern Kirkuk province, a security source said.
A source from Kirkuk security, who spoke to Kurdistan24 on condition of anonymity, stated they had information about IS militants entering southern Kirkuk between the Daquq and Bashir front lines.
“The security gap between both sides in the area was about four kilometers (2.4 miles),” the source revealed.
Additionally, he mentioned the jihadist sleeper cells inside the province had also helped the militants enter Kirkuk.
Moreover, the source stated in the coming days, Kirkuk security and police forces would reveal the details of the situation to the public.
On Friday, a large number of IS militants attacked different places in Kirkuk and controlled several buildings in the province.
The buildings included the electricity office of Dubiz district in northwestern Kirkuk, Domiz neighborhood in southeastern Kirkuk, and other areas in the province.
Peshmerga, police, and security forces combated the militants from early morning until late evening. Since then, Kurdish forces have arrested and killed several jihadists.
Brigadier Sarhad Qadir, the chief of police for Kirkuk districts and towns, told Kurdistan24 on Saturday the search operation for the remaining militants and IS sleeper cells in Kirkuk continues.
The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani released a statement praising the role of the people in Kirkuk in helping security forces defeat IS.
President Barzani also urged Kirkuk security officials to maintain the stability and security of the province.
Watch exclusive videos filmed by Kurdistan24 during the clashes between IS and Kirkuk security forces.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany