Islamic State terrorist group ramps up attacks in disputed territories in Iraq
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Territories disputed by Erbil and Baghdad are witnessing small-scale but increasing attacks from remnants of ISIS, security forces in the area have told Kurdistan 24.
Early on Wednesday, a number of armed men clashed with Kirkuk’s oilfield protection forces, known as Oil and Gas Police, in an apparent attempt to attack the Bai Hassan field in the west of disputed Kirkuk.
Security forces in the province attributed the attack, which killed at least one police officers, to the remnants of ISIS, they told Kurdistan 24.
Iraq’s oil ministry said the militants “blew up” and set fire to wells 177 and 183 at the Bay Hassan oilfield.
Also on Wednesday, fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), called Hashd al-Shabi in Arabic, were attacked by the terror group in Riyadh district, southwest of Kirkuk city.
The majority-Shia forces took casualties but had not announced them as of late Wednesday morning, according to a Kurdistan 24 correspondent.
The clashes come amid a renewed security threat from ISIS, despite its “territorial defeat” in Iraq 2017 by federal Iraqi, Kurdish and US-led coalition forces.
Attacks usually occur in areas that are disputed between the regional Kurdish and federal Iraqi government, a protracted situation that has led to a security vacuum easily exploited by ISIS.
That security gap has widened in the years following the 2017 ouster of Kurdish Peshmerga forces from dipsuted areas by the Iraqi army and Iran-backed militias.
Prior to Wednesday, the latest incident saw suspected ISIS militants attack Peshmerga posts near Pirde town, north of Kirkuk, on May 1. Three members of the Peshmerga forces were killed and two others were injured.
A few weeks earlier, a number of unidentified militants took “anything they could” at gunpoint from a Kurdish official’s home in Kirkuk province.
The Kurdistan Region’s security and political officials constantly warn about such threats, calling on their Iraqi federal counterparts to speed up the formation of a joint security command to prevent ISIS from gaining another stronghold in the country.
Source: Kurdistan 24