Iraq’s interior ministry announces dismantling of ISIS sleeper cell in Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Interior on Saturday announced the dismantling of a sleeper cell comprising 10 suspected ISIS militants in Kirkuk province.
Iraqi security services have recently intensified their campaigns against the remnants of the terrorist group in several provinces, mainly areas disputed with Erbil, and managed to arrest dozens of people in recent weeks.
The interior ministry’s intelligence agency said in a statement Saturday that the 10 people arrested were “wanted for affiliation to ISIS terrorist group as sleeper cells in Kirkuk province,” adding that they were suspected of providing logistical support “for ISIS elements,” and some were fighters or support forces in the “Kirkuk sector.”
ISIS militants have continued to attack Iraqi security forces and civilians in many of the areas disputed between the federal government of Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional government, especially Kirkuk.
In May, the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces and their Iraqi counterparts established the first joint security coordination center in Kirkuk, following a similar model in Diyala.
The Kurdistan Region’s senior officials have repeatedly said that ISIS remains a serious threat to the disputed areas, their residents, and vital facilities.
On Thursday top officials from Iraq’s Ministry of Interior discussed common security issues, including those in the disputed territories, with a high-level Kurdish delegation in Baghdad in the first such meeting since the establishment of the cooperation centers.