Hawijah frontline: Peshmerga detain 1,500 over alleged links with Islamic State

October 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

The moment a group of people from Hawijah arrive at peshmerga positions in Kirkuk (photograph: Soran Mohammad, 4th of October 2017)

Since the beginning of the operation to retake Hawijah district on September 21,  around12,000 people displaced as a result of the fighting have arrived at peshmerga positions near Kirkuk out of which 1,500 have been detained for links or membership of the Islamic State.

“Until now 8,000 people including women and children have surrendered to the peshmerga forces in section 5 of the Frontline,” said Major Ali Mohammad of the Dibs Asayish from Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Major Mohammad says that somewhere between 12,00 to 1,300 people amongst the IDPs are under investigation for links or membership of the Isis. Others have been screened and sent to an IDP camp in the south of Mosul.

“Among those arrested, there are children and wives of Daesh Emirs[commanders], we have evidence that they had links with Daesh or were Daesh armed men in Hawijah,” Major Mohammad told Kirkuknow. “The suspects admit they took up arms for Daesh or assisted the group.”

Major Mohammad says that those arrested were handed over to the Counter Terror Force of KDP in Erbil and the IDPs were placed in Haji Ali camp in Qayyarah. According to the latest data, thousands of IDPs have been sent from Kirkuk various frontline to Haji Ali camp.

One source from Maktab Khaled said that around 5,000 IDPs have reached peshmerga positions and amongst them were Isis militants and children and families of Isis Emirs. “More than 200 individuals have been arrested for links or membership of Daesh and they are currently under investigation,” the source who did not want to be identified said.

Peshmerga forces did not take part in the Hawijah operation and agreed with the Iraqi army to stop Isis militants from entering the Kurdish territories as they came under attack from the Iraqi army. Hawijah district was the last major urban area under Isis control across Iraq.

Hawijah district located 300km north of Baghdad was the last major urban area under Isis control across Iraq.

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