Two young men hang "ISIS flags" in Kirkuk neighborhood

Kirkuk, December 8th 2021- Two ISIS flags were found in an unfinished school building. Kirkuk Now

By KirkukNow

Two black pieces of cloth with white scripts in the shape of the flag for the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant ISIL were found hanging in an abandoned building in a neighborhood of ​​Kirkuk Northern Province on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigations found out two young men appear in surveillance cameras hanging the flags early in the morning and leave.

On Wednesday morning, residents of Rashidawa neighborhood in Al-Shorja area informed the security forces about the presence of ISIS flags in an unfinished school building.

Balen Fattah, a resident of Rashidawa, close to the site of the accident, said, "The security forces arrived early in the morning to this area and said that they found two ISIS flags, one of which was inside one of the school's windows and the other on the concrete blocks."

“The flag was a black piece of cloth with the Daesh flag written in poor handwriting,” said Fattah, who believes that the incident poses a danger and a direct threat to the residents.

A bag was also found in the building, which the security forces removed by a team specialized in dismantling explosives in fear of Improvised Explosive Device IED.

Recently, the attacks by the regrouping militants of ISIL have escalated targeting the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and civilians in the rural areas of Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa.

In nine days, November 27th up to December 5th, 22 Peshmerga members and civilians were killed in the deserted regions between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi military and security forces by attacks of ISIL militants.

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Kirkuk, December 8th 2021: Two black cloths resembling ISIL flags were found in an unfinished school building. Photo widely circulated on social media

The building in which the flags were found is located in the center of Al-Shorja, one of the populated neighborhoods of Kirkuk with a school on the right and opposite to an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, while Shorja Sports Club is only 50 meters away.

An informed security source anonymously said, "The investigations are continuing, and the surveillance cameras of the Shorja Sports Club and PUK Committee showed two young men placing the flags around 6:30 am and then leaving."

The source pointed out that the two young men are not residents of the neighborhood.

The source added that the security forces took the flags following phone calls from residents to investigate the circumstances of the incident.

The northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed province for 1.7 million Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

Law enforcement operation was launched on October 16th 2017 by former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, resulted in the return of Iraqi forces to Kirkuk and the rest of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil, including Kirkuk and parts of Diyala, Ninewa and Salahaddin, and the withdrawal of the Peshmerga which controlled it since2003 following the toppling of Saddam Hussein regime.

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Kirkuk, December 8th 2021: The concrete structure where ISIL flags were found is located in Rashidawa neighborhood. KirkukNow

The residents were scared while the relevant security forces denied to comment officially.

Khanim Darwish, a resident of Shorja, believes the goal of raising ISIL flag is to spread terror among people. "This act is committed by irresponsible people in order to spread anxiety and terror in the hearts of residents."

Kirkuk security forces have not officially published any clarification about the incident.

Currently, Iraqi army, local and federal police, Brigade 61 of Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, are under Kirkuk joint operations’ command, an umbrella for the security forces running the security of Kirkuk province. 

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