Islamic State emir Abu Ali arrested in Garmiyan
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Kurdish security forces in Garmiyan announced the arrest of a local Islamic State (ISIS) leader who has confessed to taking part in several attacks on Peshmerga forces in the Diyala towns of Jalawla and Qaratapa.
Mahmoud Khurshid, 68, also known as Abu Ali, was arrested by the Garmiyan Asayesh Forces on March 16 in the town of Rizgari, Kalar. His arrest was only announced, after he made a confession.
Khurshid confessed to having taken part in the bulk of ISIS attacks on Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Jalawla and Qaratapa since 2014.
“He has confessed that he was among those who fought the Peshmerga in Jalawla and Qaratapa,” Brig. Gen. Nawshirwan Ahmed told a press conference on Thursday. “He has the blood of Peshmerga forces on his hands.”
According to data provided to Rudaw by Peshmerga forces on the Garmaser Front, more than 200 Kurdish troops were killed in a series of engagements with the jihadists around the two disputed Kurdish towns during this period.
ISIS took control of Jalawla in early August 2014, burning down the home of Kurdish and Shiite families. The Peshmerga drove out the militants in November 2015.
However, the city and other areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad then fell to the Iraqi Army and Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in October 2017 following the Kurdistan Region’s referendum on independence.
Ahmed said Khurshid has also confessed to the killing of two Asayesh personnel in Jalawla in 2007.
Khurshid says he joined al-Qaida in 2007 but later pledged allegiance to ISIS soon after it was founded.
“I started with al-Qaida. Most of the time back then we used to fight American forces. I continued with them until the end of al-Qaida in 2008. When the Islamic State came, I joined them,” Khurshid told Rudaw during Thursday’s press conference.
Khurshid is originally from the Arab inhabited village of Tatran in Qaratapa, just north of Lake Hamrin on the road to Tuz Khurmatu and on to Kirkuk.
When ISIS was at the height of its power, Khurshid traveled between Iraq and Syria to areas under its control.
After the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in late 2017, Khurshid infiltrated Jabara and stayed there undetected by Iraqi forces for more than two years.
A few weeks ago, he travelled to the town of Rizgari under false documentation and pretended to be blind. It was here that local Asayish detained and identified him.
According to the Garmiyan Asayesh, 11 ISIS militants have been arrested in Garmiyan since the beginning of 2020 – including three leaders, known as emirs.
Parts of the Garmiyan region have long been disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi federal government. The area remains a hotbed of ISIS activity due to the lack of cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi security forces.