Civilians are not safe in disputed territories in Diyala

August 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

A peshmerga in south of Khanaqin (Summer 2017)

Hawre Azad

Abu Raed is a member of a village council in north of Jalawla who has protected his village with 150 other men for the last two years against Islamic State but now he is asking the security services to help him because of the frequent attacks by Isis also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.

“Our life is in danger as Daesh uses every opportunity to target us and our families,” Abu Raed told Kirkuknow from his village of Islah which has a population of 500 people. “Three people were killed and two abducted all of whom are either shepherd or farmers.”

A group of Isis militants attacked a cement block factory in Islah on August 15, and abducted two workers and this was the latest attack. Isis attacks have increased in sub districts of Jalawla, Sadiya, Mandali and Qaratappa which are disputed territories in Diyala.

“Daesh are operating in small units and carry out terrorist attacks, and have hiding places in the area,” General Irfan Hamakhan of 3rd infantry Brigade of the peshmerga said.

Last week Isis carried out attacks on electricity pylons in Diyala affecting the supply of electricity to Kirkuk and Nineveh. The attacks come around two and a half month after Mosul was retaken by Iraqi forces. Isis has increased its activities in and around Hamrin Mountains and some others areas in Diyala. Hamrin Mountains are a long stretch of land that are empty of inhabitants and difficult for the security forces to control.

There have been a number of bombing in the area which resulted in the death of a number of people. Last month, Najmaddin Karim the governor of Kirkuk called on the government and the security forces to retake Isis stronghold of Hawijah.

“In one month alone, Daesh has killed seven people and wants to create division within various groups,” Shikh Yaqub Yusuf the head of Jalawla sub district told Kirkuknow.

Abu Raed called on the peshmerga forces to assist them defending their village and protecting civilian lives.

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