Islamic State terrorists killed police officer in Hawija checkpoint attack
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: iraq;
Islamic State (ISIS) militants killed an Iraqi federal police officer at a checkpoint in Hawija, western Kirkuk late on Sunday, according to defense officials.
The unnamed officer was killed by an ISIS sniper at a checkpoint in Mansourieh al-Jabal, 45 km west of Kirkuk city.
“A member of the Iraqi federal police was martyred after the snipers of ISIS terrorist gangs opened fire at one of the checkpoints belonging to the first regiment of the 12th brigade in the third division of the Federal Police in the Mansourieh al-Jabal region in the Hawija district of the Kirkuk province,” the Iraqi Security Media Cell said in a tweet.
This is the third deadly attack on Iraqi and Kurdish security forces in the disputed territories in the past week, indicating a rise in ISIS activity.
Two Peshmerga fighters were killed and another wounded in an ISIS attack on Kolajo on Tuesday night.
The militants launched another strike on Thursday, killing two Hashd al-Shaabi fighters near al-Sadeq (Haliwa) military airport in Tuz Khurmatu.
ISIS seized vast swathes of Syria and northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, including Mosul and other large Sunni-majority cities.
The group was declared territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017. However, a low intensity insurgency has continued, exploiting security vacuums between rival forces.
Iraq’s disputed territories, which Erbil and Baghdad have long contested, and some western Sunni-majority regions including Anbar, have seen a recent uptick in insurgent activities, including bombings, ambushes, kidnappings, extortion, and arson.
Jabar Yawar, chief of staff at the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, says 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 Rudew on Thursday.
The latest Pentagon Inspector General report, covering October 1 to December 31, said ISIS remnants of the group are still active, capable of conducting small-scale attacks.
“ISIS maintained both freedom of movement and the ability to hide and transport fighters and materiel in rural areas where [the Iraqi Security Forces] presence is less intense and ISIS can more easily avoid detection and capture,” the Lead Inspector General report said.
“ISIS retains enough manpower and planning capabilities to conduct regular small-scale attacks or ambushes against the ISF, the PMF, or local civilians accused of aiding the ISF or informing on ISIS activities.”