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Islamic State terrorists killed eleven Popular Mobilization Forces fighters in Saladin attack

Islamic State terrorists killed eleven Popular Mobilization Forces fighters in Saladin attack

December 13, 2019 » Today News » / /

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 Affected Countries: iraq;

Islamic State (ISIS) militants launched at least two suicide attacks on a brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, in Samarra, Saladin province, late on Thursday, killing at least 11, according to security officials.

“A suicide terrorist targeted a force, affiliated to Samarra operations, causing the martyrdom of seven members of Hashd al-Shaabi’s 313th Brigade and the injury of three others,” read an earlier statement from the Iraqi Security Media Cell.

The cell later released a second statement, claiming an explosives-laden car, driven by a suicide bomber, attacked the same PMF brigade, killing another four.

The PMF confirmed the first attack in a statement, saying its forces “responded” to an attack without mentioning casualties.

ISIS has not issued a statement claiming either attack, but is known to operate in the disputed area.

The attack comes just days after ISIS militants attacked the Iran-backed PMF in Diyala province, which has also seen an uptick in violence in recent months.

ISIS attacked PMF and Iraqi Army positions in Diyala on December 1, killing one Iraqi soldier and two PMF.

Several Kurdish security forces were recently killed in the Kolajo sub-district of Garmiyan.

ISIS was declared territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017. However, remnants of the group, supported by a sophisticated network of sleeper cells, have exploited the security vacuum between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories.

The failure of Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces to coordinate in provinces like Kirkuk, Saladin, and Diyala has allowed ISIS to regroup and resurge.

ISIS seized control of vast swaths of Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014. It was dislodged from Iraq’s major cities in 2017 and from its last holdout in eastern Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in March 2019.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a briefing with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday that the group could re-emerge in six to 12 months as a result of the US drawdown in Syria.

“In order to provide for the enduring defeat, and working by, with, and through allies and partners, Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq and the SDF in Syria, that enables us to continue to maintain intelligence collection and strike capabilities to continue to rip apart the remnants of what is ISIS,” he said.

“If we fail to do that, ISIS will re-emerge. The conditions will come back, and they will re-emerge as a capable threat to the region and our interest,” Milley added.

Source: Rudaw

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