2 Peshmerga killed, 2 injured in Diyala night attack by ISIL motorists

Kirkuk, 2020: A military operation by the Peshmerga forces in the Sheikh Bizeni area of Shiwan district, northwest of Kirkuk. Karwan Al-Salihi

Major Nawzad Khaled, a commander in the 1st Regiment, 9th infantry Brigade of the Peshmerga forces in Kifri district of Diyala province, is demanding more equipment for the Peshmerga forces stationed on the front lines so that they can repel the dangers of ISIS attacks on their positions, including night vision binoculars and thermal CCTVs.

Major Khaled, who was one of the Peshmerga officers repelled a night attack by gunmen of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL in the suburbs of Kifri district, said that at least 15 ISIL militants stormed their bases, carrying Kalashnikov and thermal rifles.

The clashes erupted, according to major Khaled, at 9:30 on November 29th when one of the militants was seen through thermal cameras, and the Peshmerga opened fire but half an hour later, ISIL militants stormed a position only one kilometer behind the Major’s bunker, near Bawa Shaswar Dam of Kifri, south of Sulaymaniyah.

"The confrontations started behind us. We rushed to support them and opened fire. One of our fighters was martyred in those confrontations, and three others were wounded. The Peshmerga who was martyred was in my company," Major Kahled sobbed.

The Peshmerga killed in the clashes was from Dibs district in Kirkuk province yet resident of Kalar, south of Sulaymaniyah, married and father of one child.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 30, one of the wounded in the attack died of severe wounds in Shar Hospital in Sulaymaniyah. He was a resident of Tuz Khurmatu District of Salahaddin province.

ISIL militants approached the Peshmerga positions riding motorbikes, as Nawzad estimates there were at least 15 of them seen through thermal cameras.

Last month, ISIL gunmen stormed the village of Rashad in Miqdadiya (Sharaban in Kurdish) district northeast of Diyala province. 13 people were killed and seven were injured, stirring up a concerning series of sectarian violence.

The regrouping militants of ISIL have attacked Peshmerga points in Kifri for three successive nights while the Peshmerga senior commanders deny any security gap between the Peshemrga and the Iraqi forces in the disputed territories in Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin.

Sleeper cells and resistant pockets of ISIS militants are regrouping in the rural areas of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. They are posing a high threat by different tactics such as hit-and-run attacks, kidnappings, and IED roadside bombs targeting the Iraqi forces and civilians in the suburbs of Diyla, Kirkuk Ninawa, Salahaddin and Erbil.

The persistence of ISIS threats comes despite the fact that the former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in late 2017, the complete elimination of ISIS in Iraq, after nearly three years of military confrontations.

Kifri, November 29th, 2021: One of the wounded Peshmerga while receiving treatment in the hospital. Kifri Health Media

"We have information that one of Daesh militants named Mansoub was killed in the confrontations. The militants fled following the attack"

The attack was the third targeting Peshmerga forces stationed in Kifri district. Peshmerga positions near Cox of Kifri district were attacked Saturday night, November 27th, by ISIL militants.

The attack was followed by explosion of Improvised Explosive Device IED targeted Humvee military vehicle of the Peshmerga, resulted in the burning of six members of the Peshmerga and the wounding of three others.

Major Khaled, commander of the 1st Brigade in the 9th Brigade of the Peshmerga Forces, called on the Ministry of Peshmerga to provide the forces stationed on the front lines of the confrontations with additional equipment, including "thermal cameras and night vision binoculars."

"If every military point is provided with one night vision, we would be able to better monitor the movements of Daesh militants," Nawzad explained, "because the area is remote and wide with many ups and downs that make it easier for Daesh militants to hide."

If every military point is provided with one night vision, we would be able to better monitor the movements of Daesh militants

Last night's attack came a day after the military operation launched by the Peshmerga forces to survey the area and uncover the hideouts of ISIS militants.

Mahmoud Sangawi, a senior leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK and the military commander in charge of Garmiyan area, south of Sulaymaniya bordering Diyala Province, "The reason behind the attack is due to our negligence. We warned them a month ago that they would be attacked.”

“The commander of the Peshmerga Brigade had previously issued orders not to move any military vehicle, but the determination of these Peshmerga to rescue their comrades prompted them to violate the orders, so they faced this disaster," he added.

For its part, the Ministry of Peshmerga issued a statement Monday at night, stressing that the Peshmerga forces managed to defeat the attack of Daesh militants and forced them to flee.

The figures about ISIL attacks by the ministry of Peshmerga MOP under the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government KRG show they have carried out 2412 attacks in the last four years since 2018.

Lieutenant general Jabar Yawar, secretary general of the MOP, told voice of America VOA Kurdish service Mid-November, "We have not agreed with Baghdad when it has declared end of Daesh in 2017 since it has led 2412 attacks up to last October. About 1742 attacks were carried out in 2018, 270 in 2019, 230 in 2020, 170 in 2021 up to end of October."


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