In late Sunday, Iraqi officials stated that Daesh/ISIS militants kidnapped three farmers in the countryside near Salahuddin Province of Tuz Khurmatu. Speaking to local media, the mayor of the city, Hassan Zain al-Abidin, stated that the abducted farmers’ situation has remained unknown. It is known that they are Sunni Arabs and living in Hlewa village located ten kilometers away from Tuz Khurmatu, the mayor added. Also, Mayor Zain al-Abidin stated that they warned the residents living in the region to stay away from the areas known Daesh/ISIS carry attacks, particularly regions near Hlewa and Zarga villages.
Speaking on occasion, the spokesperson for the Popular Mobilization Forces, Hashd al-Shaabi, said that the abductees had gone to the area to repair water pumps. According to the spokesperson’s statement, their families realized that the farmers were kidnapped when they called the latter as the ones who picked up the phone introduced themselves as Daesh/ISIS. The spokesperson added that any news regarding the abductees’ conditions or ransom demands has not been reached to their families.
Known as disputed areas, including Salahuddin, Kirkuk, and Diyala provinces, between Erbil and Baghdad, the region has frequently been targeting by Daesh/ISIS attacks due to lack of coordination between security forces which created a security vacuum in the region. Nevertheless, it is seen that security forces, including the global coalition against Daesh/ISIS, the Iraqi army, and the Peshmerga forces have been carrying out operations in the region against these Daesh/ISIS attacks.