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ISIS Attacks in Northern Iraq Raise Concerns

Gulan Media December 2, 2023 News
ISIS Attacks in Northern Iraq Raise Concerns

In a series of attacks over the past two days, suspected Islamic State (ISIS) gunmen targeted military positions in Iraq, resulting in casualties and renewed concerns about the resurgence of the terrorist organization.

On Friday night, near Makhmour in Erbil province, ISIS militants attacked an Iraqi army position, leading to the tragic death of at least one Iraqi soldier. The assault involved two separate attacks on Gobtapa village, leaving one soldier dead and five others injured, according to Ghazi Faisal, head of a Peshmerga volunteer unit in Makhmour.

"We are now with the Iraqi army in the village and have surrounded the ISIS fighters," Faisal reported on Saturday.

This incident follows a deadly suspected ISIS attack on Thursday evening in Diyala's Muqdadiya district, where at least ten civilians lost their lives, and 17 others were injured. The assault prompted condemnations from both Iraqi and Kurdish officials, highlighting growing concerns about ISIS sleeper cell activities in disputed territories.

Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS in 2017, the group continues to pose a significant security threat in Iraq through sporadic hit-and-run attacks, bombings, and abductions. These incidents are particularly prevalent in areas disputed between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), spanning provinces such as Diyala, Salahaddin, and Kirkuk.

Efforts to address this security challenge are underway, with joint Iraqi-Peshmerga brigades expected to begin securing disputed areas this month, as agreed upon two years ago. Recent operations around Qarachogh and Gwer have been completed by the Iraqi and Kurdish forces, according to Peshmerga Commander Sirwan Barzani.

The attacks underscore the ongoing security risks in the region, emphasizing the need for continued collaboration between Iraqi and Kurdish forces to counter the persistent threat posed by ISIS.

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