ISIS beheads a Sunni Arab man in Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – ISIS beheaded a Sunni Arab man in the disputed province of Kirkuk early Sunday.
According to Kurdistan 24 sources, ISIS launched an attack in the early hours of Sunday on a farm located between Bibani and Kalwer villages in the town of Pirde in disputed Kirkuk province.
A source in Pirde's police force told Kurdistan 24 that cameras showed four ISIS militants entering a farm owned by a Kurdish citizen and guarded by an Arab family. The ISIS militants handcuffed the head of the family, the Sunni Arab man, and then beheaded him.
According to Kurdistan 24 sources, the man recently joined the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a predominantly Shiite militia force that ISIS considers a main enemy.
The same source mentioned ISIS raised their flag in the same area near Karez village early Sunday. The local security forces were informed, and they took the flag down.
Residents in the area told Kurdistan 24 that ISIS has always been very active around their towns and villages. They have repeatedly warned the authorities about the growing threat posed by ISIS.
They also said they would prefer the Peshmerga forces to protect their areas since they believe the Peshmerga are more effective in doing so than their Iraqi counterparts.
ISIS militants on Wednesday carried out three attacks on Iraqi security forces in the Daquq and Duz Khurmatu districts in the Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces. One of the attacks targeted the convoy of the Federal Police's Fifth Division commander, causing casualties and material damage.
The three attacks came 24 hours after an attack by armed men on the village of Mansour in the Haftgar area of the Daquq district, Kirkuk. Villagers and security forces confronted the attacking militants, which resulted in the injury of a civilian.
These attacks were launched a week after the end of the "Iron Hammer" operation, in which security forces targeted seven villages in the Lake Rokhana and al-Zarka areas in the Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces.
During the operation, a large ISIS tunnel was found, and significant quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosive materials were seized.
ISIS cells continue to carry out insurgent attacks, especially in rural parts of the disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad.
After the Kurdistan Region's 2017 independence referendum, Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) pushed the Peshmerga out of these areas, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
Since then, these territories have suffered from a lack of unified military strategy, with ISIS taking advantage of the security vacuum that emerged following the October 2017 events. Last month, however, the Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga began to coordinate operations in the disputed territories against the mutual ISIS threat.