Iraqi military official to visit Erbil to discuss the Islamic State threats
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
An Iraqi military official is slated to visit Erbil next week to discuss the increase in ISIS activities in the disputed territories with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.
“The deputy head of the Iraqi joint operation command, Lie. Gen. Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah will visit Erbil next week to discuss ways of eliminating the remaining Islamic State (ISIS) activities in the disputed areas with the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in the Kurdistan Region,” Nasir Harki, a Kurdish MP in Iraqi parliament told Rudaw on Wednesday.
This comes after the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani told reporters at a press conference last week that Baghdad is not taking ISIS threats seriously.
“Today, Daesh is a serious threat to the Kurdistan Region and the whole of Iraq,” Barzani said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“We as the Kurdistan region have tried several times to discuss this matter [ISIS threats] with Baghdad, but to be honest the Iraqi government is not taking the threat of ISIS very seriously,” Barzani added.
The main aim of Yarallah’s visit to the Kurdistan Region is to fill the “security vacuum” between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces in the disputed territories, according to Harki.
Although the government announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in December 2017, remnants of the group have returned to their earlier insurgency tactics, ambushing security forces, kidnapping and executing suspected informants, and extorting money from vulnerable rural populations.
ISIS seized vast swathes of Syria and northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, including Mosul and other large Sunni-majority cities.
Baghdad called on the international community to form a coalition to help fight ISIS in Iraq. At the height of its power between 2014 and 2016, ISIS controlled an area roughly the size of Great Britain, spread across both Iraq and Syria.
ISIS insurgent activities have increased in recent weeks, with militants killing five soldiers and wounding three more in three separate incidents in Diyala and Kirkuk provinces.
ISIS militants also killed an Iraqi federal police officer at a checkpoint in Hawija, western Kirkuk on April 12, according to defense officials.
Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari vowed last week to “ramp up” the government’s anti-ISIS efforts, and stop the group’s attacks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jabar Yawar, chief of staff at the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, warned earlier in April that the ISIS resurgence has been underway for some time.
“According to our data, the group increased its activities in 2018 and 2019, especially in Kurdistani areas outside of the Kurdistan Region administration, including Diyala, Hamrin, Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and Qarachogh. In Qarachogh, they even established bases,” Yawar told Rudaw.