Islamic State terrorist attacks in disputed Khanaqin reach a critical phase
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Over the past six months, the so-called Islamic State has carried out 70 terrorist attacks in the disputed territories in Diyala province, killing 70 people, injuring 130, and kidnapping 47.
That includes Khanaqin district in northeastern Diyala province, over the past month, the terrorist group has stepped up its attacks there, targeting Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Kurdish civilians, and remote villages, where security is particularly weak.
“Most of the attacks are taking place on the areas protected by the Iraqi Security Forces and taking advantage of security vacuums, as Iraqi forces are stretched thin, especially in the villages and towns that are located in remote areas and far from the district center,” Ibrahim Barami, the Peshmerga commander in charge of the Garmiyan Administration frontline, told Kurdistan 24.
“We have received advanced equipment in the frontline, including thermo-surveillance cameras, which enable us to monitor and detect ISIS movements in the area,” Barami explained.
The Garmiyan Administration is an unofficial province in the Kurdistan Region that includes the three districts of Kalar, Kifri, and Chamchamal in territory that is disputed between Baghdad and Erbil. Peshmerga and Kurdish security forces (Asayish) protect these areas.
In just a week, five Kurdish civilians in the Khanaqin district were killed by the Islamic State in night-time attacks. In addition, the terrorist group has renewed its practice of targeting fields during the harvest season, attacking civilians, burning the machinery they use for harvesting, and kidnapping them and holding them for ransom.
The threats from the so-called Islamic State in disputed areas prevent the rental of tractors for harvesting or taking on work there.
“Killing, abducting, burning tractors and the fields are among the reasons not to do any harvesting work there,” Bryar Mohammed, a harvesting tractor driver, told Kurdistan 24.
“The Iraqi Security Forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are unable to protect and defend the area against ISIS insurgent attacks,” another farmer in Khanaqin, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Kurdistan 24.
“When someone is attacked during the night and contacts the ISF for help, they will do nothing until the next morning, because they are afraid of an ISIS ambush under the cover of night,” he explained.
In recent months, the Islamic State has increased its activities across the country, most notably in disputed territories, targeting and killing dozens of civilians and members of the security forces.
Kurdish government and military officials have repeatedly stated that Erbil and Baghdad need to improve their coordination and cooperation in these areas to more effectively combat the terrorist organization. They note, in particular, the security vacuum that has left the disputed areas in Diyala, Salahuddin, and Kirkuk provinces especially vulnerable to attack.
Source: Kurdistan 24