Iraqi PM directs security forces to launch ops against ISIS in Kirkuk

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi chairs a meeting of National Security Council in Baghdad, September 5, 2021. (PM office photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has directed the security forces to launch operations against Islamic State (ISIS) remnants in Kirkuk, his press office said, after attacks on the federal police in the province.

Thirteen Iraqi federal policemen were killed and six others were injured in an attack by ISIS militants on a military point and an explosion that hit a convoy of the federal police in southwest of Kirkuk.

Kadhimi chaired an “emergency meeting” of the National Security Council late on Sunday to discuss the security situation in Kirkuk province, his press office said in a statement.

“Mismanagement and negligence in the work of military leaders lead to some violations,” Kadhimi said in the meeting, the statement read.

He also stressed the importance of developing new mechanisms to prevent the reoccurrence of security incidents, according to his office.

Kadhimi ordered the formation of a committee to investigate “these violations and prevent their recurrence”.

He “directed [the security forces] to carry out a qualitative, proactive operation to prevent sleeper cells from reemerging and repeating violations,” the premier’s office said.

The Islamic State remnants have increased attacks against civilians and Iraqi forces in the disputed territories, claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.

In 2017 Baghdad announced victory over the militant group, and attacks in Iraqi cities have since become much rarer, although troops continue to fight ISIS sleeper cells in mountainous and desert areas.

The militants still mount deadly operations, mostly at night and in remote areas.

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