Iraq's special forces launch 'law enforcement' operations to restore security in Maysan 

Attention was drawn to the province's instability after unidentified assailants killed an anti-narcotics judge in early February. 
Members of Iraq's Rapid Intervention forces driving in a village in the Hawi al-Azim area, in the eastern Diyala province on Jan. 24, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP)
Members of Iraq's Rapid Intervention forces driving in a village in the Hawi al-Azim area, in the eastern Diyala province on Jan. 24, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Following a wave of bloody tribal violence and assassinations, Iraq's elite forces launched an operation on Thursday to restore security in the unstable southern province, state media reported. 

Major General Ghalib Muhammad, the commander of Iraq's special forces, announced the "security and law enforcement" operations to hunt down "criminals and outlaws," the state-owned Iraqi News Agency reported. 

As a result of the operations, 90 people, who were previously on the security forces' wanted list, have been arrested, according to the commander. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi established Maysan Operations Command on Feb. 8 to deal with the province's security disorder. The following day he visited Maysan along with top security officials. 

According to Muhammad, Iraqi army units, rapid intervention, and special forces are taking part in the operations. 

After renewed tribal fighting in Maysan's al-Kahla district on Thursday, security forces imposed a tight curfew on the area and raided the residences of the perpetrators. 

Attention was drawn to the province's instability after unidentified assailants killed an anti-narcotics judge in early February. 

Iraq's highest judiciary authorities have pinned the blame for the widespread instability on the security failure and "negligence" of law enforcement. 

Over four years, 1,000 people in Maysan have been killed in tribal feuds, according to a conflict resolution official in the province. 

In January, unknown assailants attacked a car belonging to the Chinese oil giant Sinopec in the province's Al-Majer al-Kabir district, wounding two Sudanese guards protecting the Chinese workers in the car. 

Sinopec has been operating in the area since 2013. 

According to the Interior Ministry, Maysan and Basra, both southern provinces bordering Iran, are the "leading" areas in Iraq for narcotics trafficking and consumption.