Kirkuk: how an alleged ISIS member killed four persons in Dibis

Dibis district, Kirkuk, a young villager is standing in front of the window from which the gunman attacked the seven people, February 19, 2020. Photo: Karwan Salehi

Karwan Salehi- Kirkuk

Seven young people were sitting in a shop. They were smoking shisha and were glad. All of a sudden, a gunman pointed his gun at them from the window of the shop and started shooting. They started bleeding and their blood mixed, and four of them immediately died.

The incident happened at 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, in Chakhmagha village, Dibis district, 35 km western Kirkuk.

Bryar Ahmad, the first person who visited the shop after the shooting, said, “my friend, Mariwan, called me and said we got attacked,”

With the phone call, the electricity of the village went off, it was a dark night, and Bryar said, “it was dark to the extent that I could not see the ground. Initially, I could not go out because I feared that I would be killed, too.”

Mariwan called him two more times and kept saying, “I swear by Quran that my body is running out of blood.”

Ahmad explained that he lost the patient, turned on his phone’s flashlight, and went to the shop.

“The shop was full of blood; Marian was in the last moments of his life. The villagers came, and we put the wounded and martyrs’ bodies in the car. We went to the hospital, and Mariwan already died.”

Kirkuk, Bryar and his friend are mouring the death of their friend in the shop where he was killed, February 19, 2020. Photo:Karwan Salehi

Youths of the villages used to gather at the shop and spent their time during winter.

A Security camera record, which was published on social media, shows that a gunman goes to the shop and starts shooting them.

“The youths used to meet at this shop,” Dilshad Ahmad, a resident of the village, said, “the terrorist started shooting them from the window. Four of them were martyred, and the other three are wounded.”

Two of the four are the only children in their family, and the others are relatives.

13 families used to live in Chakhmahga, and some of them left when the Kurdish force withdre from the area on october 16, 2017, according to Omar Shaswar, the mayor of the village.

Shaswar said, “there is a big security vacuum ranging from Dibis to Hawija district… we ask the government to help us to defend our lives or let us grab guns to protect ourselves.”

There is a big security vacuum ranging from Dibis to Hawija district

While transporting the seven persons, Federal Police, who is responsible for the security of the area, have made obstacles and shot over the cars.

The Iraqi forces, including federal and domestic police, are in charge of securing the Dibis district.

The incident was disastrous for the villagers, but it might be more bitter to Ahmad as he lost his friend, his place of gathering with his friends, and his village.


Kirkuk, the shop in which the four persons were killed and theree other were wounded, February 19, 2020. Photo:Karwan Salehi

“It is impossible for me to again live in the village,”

The incident brought strong condemnations. Head of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, and Leadership Council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)in two separate statements condemned the attack and asked for cooperation between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi forces.

In its statement, PUK emphasized that Peshmerga, with Iraqi Forces cooperation, can restore stability in the region and can prevent marginalization and displacement.

Likewise, Masoud Barzani stated that the attack shows ISIS has taken advantage of the security vacuum to regroup and strengthen itself. Their threats should be taken into considerations.

“Cooperation between central & regional government & the international coalition 2 eradicate ISIS threats should be strengthened & sustained,” He said.

The four persons who were killed.

-    Ali Ahmad Darwish, 32 years old.

-    Mahmood Ibrahim Khurshi, 25 years old.

-    Ahmad Jasm, 21 years old.

-    Mariwan Serwan, 25 years old.

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