IS attacks Iraqi forces near Makhmour, Erbil

Islamic State militants on Monday launched an attack on Iraqi forces near the town of Makhmour, located on the outskirts of Erbil.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Islamic State (IS) militants early Monday morning launched an attack on Iraqi federal forces near the town of Makhmour, located on the outskirts of Erbil, according to a security source.

“Clashes erupted after a contingent of Iraqi federal forces was sent from Makhmour to villages in the Qaraj area,” the source explained.

“Da’esh militants ambushed Iraqi forces in the village of Ali Arash,” the source continued. “A number of jihadists were killed,” he said, without offering any details regarding possible Iraqi forces casualties.

IS sleeper cells and militants maintain a presence in villages near Makhmour, with US-led coalition warplanes often targeting their positions.

“It’s not the first time Da’esh clashes with Iraqi forces in those villages. It is like their stronghold; Every time security forces go to the region, they are attacked or ambushed,” the source stated.

He also warned the jihadist group remains active in the region and have militants positioned in various towns and communities.

Following the liberation of Mosul and Hawija, IS militants have gathered in surrounding disputed and vulnerable areas, such as Makhmour and its Mount Qarachukh. Peshmerga forces and Iraqi troops, with the support of the US-led coalition, recently launched a joint military operation against the jihadist group in that area.

Editing by Nadia Riva