In the last 72 hours, several security-related incidents happened in Kirkuk province, including shooting the checkpoints of the security forces, setting up a fake checkpoint, and gunmen attacks.
The latest incident happened on the evening of April 17, when Emergency Forces, in cooperation with Quriya Neighborhood police, confiscated a vehicle with its seven passengers.
Police Department published that the passengers of the vehicle tried to make “chaos.” KikrukNow learned that the passengers shot close to Kirkuk’s Chamber of Commerce, and after their arrest, one of them was a police officer.
On the same evening, gunmen in a BMW car shot a checkpoint of the security forces, who later chased the car. The gunmen left the car on Sulaimaniyah –Kirkuk road and fled.
A security source confirmed to KirkukNow that one of the passengers of the car were injured and the owner of the car lives in Panja Ali neighborhood. His arrest warrant has been issued.
Shooting the security forces checkpoints is at a time that they are enforcing the curfew aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Another security source said, “for a few days a motorbike had fled from checkpoints until he was shot and arrested in front of the college of law in Kirkuk.”
The arrestee is 19 years old and is admitted to the hospital to receive treatments.
These incidents in the city of Kirkuk is happening at a time when Islamic State (IS) sleep cells have increased their insurgent attacks against the different Iraqi forces in the districts of the province, in which several soldiers have been killed and injured.
On April 16, in Laylan sub-district, unknown people set up a fake checkpoint at the subdistricts road to Qarahanjir, where drivers was stopped, looted, and physically attacked.
Officer Salahadin Sabir, head of Laylan Police Department, said, “those who set up the fake checkpoint were the three motorcycle gunmen, who had similar facial shape to IS members due to their long beard. They blocked pick up vehicles.
Sabir explained that they conducted a search for the gunmen, and stated, “we publicly say that there are IS militants in the areas, but due to the geography of the areas, they cannot easily be arrested. The areas at which there is a security vacuum is located between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the Peshmerga forces.”
The Kurdish Peshmerga Force withdrew in the disputed areas on October 16, 2017, and were replaced by the Federal Forces. Since then, the areas between the two forces have experienced a security vacuum.
A resident from Laylan said that “there are IS militants in the areas and ask the shepherds and the villagers for food.”
Another security source told KirkukNow that on the late night of April 17, two IS militants, who were brothers, were arrested in Qaradara village, Dibis district, who wanted to sneak into the village but were seen from the security cameras.
Most of the incidents have happened in the south and southwestern Kirkuk.
In their visit to Hafaghar village in Daquq, 45th brigade has asked people to cooperate with them to stabilize the area.
Mohammed Ibrahim, head of the Mansuri Haftahgar village, stated the military commander has asked for help protect the region, and people are ready to cooperate as they have done before.
Currently, the entire security forces in Kirkuk have been put on alert to enforce the curfew aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus as well as to respond to any insurgent attacks.
The special 61 unit belonging prime minister, as well as police forces, are in charge of the security apparatus of the city of Kirkuk. The other areas of the province are secured by ISF, Popular Mobilization Forces, and Iraqi Federal Police, which are all under the chain of command of the Joint Operation Room.