Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and counterterrorism units conducted a joint operation in a Kirkuk village where Iraqi helicopters engaged Daesh/ISIS position and armed clashes resulted in the killing of at least four of Islamic State members. The Iraqi army, federal police units and Popular Mobilization Forces also launched a large-scale security operation across Diyala and Saladin on the same day. According to Iraqi Security Media Cell, the operation aims to “pursue terrorist gangs and destroy their hideouts.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an emergency meeting with the National Security Council shortly after a Daesh/ISIS attack that targeted a Federal Police compound in the Al Rashad area in Kirkuk. The attack had killed at least 14 police officers and wounded several others.
Some members of the security forces decried the lack of coordination between the Joint Military Operations Command and the federal police forces as they reportedly ignored calls for reinforcements during the two-hour-long armed clashes with Daesh/ISIS militants. Police forces reportedly ran out of ammunition during the fighting.
PM al-Kadhimi laid the blame on the “shortcomings of military leaders” in preventing the recent attack. According to the press briefer released after the meeting, the Iraqi PM ordered the formation of a committee to look into security breaches and take preventive steps towards eliminating them.
Kirkuk is part of the “triangle of death” along with Diyala and Saladin where Daesh/ISIS remnants remain able to conduct frequent attacks and roam the area.