ISIS intensifies attacks in Diyala, killing and injuring 10 Iraqi security forces

Both Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been involved in clashes with the so-called Islamic State in Iraq’s northeast Diyala province. The area lies within the territory disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraq’s federal government, and it has seen a resurgence in terrorist activity.

Iraqi security sources announced on Monday that five soldiers had been killed and another five wounded in two separate attacks by the Islamic State on two different Iraqi military bases in the northeastern part of Diyala Province.

According to Iraqi Security Cell Media, the first attack took place in Nofel village in the town of Miqdadiyah, as “the assailants directly attacked the military base killing two soldiers and injuring several others.”

The statement from the security cell also explained that the second attack targeted a military force in the town of Baldarus, killing three soldiers and injuring four others, including an officer.

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) previously conducted a multi-phased, joint military campaign in coordination with the Iraqi air force and the International Coalition to neutralize remnants of the Islamic State. However, the terrorist organization remains active in the area.

Iraqi Security Cell Media also released a statement confirming that the Islamic State had carried out an assault on a federal police patrol, killing two men in the patrol in southern Ryaz, on the outskirts of the district of Kirkuk.

Kurdish forces, too, were involved in fighting with the Islamic State. On Sunday, the Peshmerga launched a military operation against Islamic State remnants in the Garmiyan region’s Kifri district, following increased activity and attacks by the terrorist organization on both Peshmerga forces and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF.)

As operations by the Islamic State have increased, the Peshmerga leadership, on Dec. 7, deployed additional military reinforcements to the southern Garmiyan area, after six Kurdish security force (Asayish) members and Peshmerga fighters were killed in two separate attacks in the Kulajo region, which is located in the Garmiyan administrative district and falls under Peshmerga control.

The terrorist organization is thought to maintain a network of hideouts and tunnels close to areas it once dominated, following its sudden emergence in 2014.

It has been two years since former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed that the Islamic State had been defeated. However, that task was never really completed, even before Abadi attacked Kurdish forces in Oct. 2017, and the situation has deteriorated since.

As time has shown, Iraq’s assault on the Peshmerga provided the Islamic State an opportunity to regroup and reemerge. Over the past two years, the ISF has not been able to provide the same degree of control in the disputed territories that Peshmerga forces once did, especially in rural areas.

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