ISIS sleeper cells are increasing their attacks in different parts of Iraq, especially Kurdish-held areas, even after the Iraqi government declared full victory over the terrorist organization in 2017.
Militants affiliated to ISIS staged an attack on December 2, leaving 20 civilians and policemen dead and injured.
The attack took place in the village of Khader Jija, near Erbil province.
At the beginning of the week, ISIS launched another attack on Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, killing five Peshmerga troops and wounding four others.
The Makhmour District has become an ISIS hotspot. It witnesses regular attacks on Kurdish and Iraqi forces, and often civilians.
Commenting on the attack, the Presidency and Government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Ministry of Peshmerga called for strengthening cooperation and coordination with the Iraqi army as well as the international coalition.
They also called for carrying out joint operations to curb ISIS attacks.
The occurrence of two major attacks by ISIS on Peshmerga forces in the Koljo areas at the beginning of the week and on Makhmour near Erbil on Thursday has sparked official and popular reactions in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
This especially happened after Thursday’s attack which targeted a peaceful village. The attack left three members of the same family dead and some other villagers injured.
Meanwhile, the Joint Operations Command announced the arrival to its headquarters of a Peshmerga delegation to discuss and coordinate security in areas of common interest.
Diplomatic missions in the Kurdistan region condemned the attack and voiced out solidarity with the Kurds.
The US Consulate in Erbil strongly condemned what it described as the ‘cowardly’ attack which was carried out by ISIS elements.
“The United States remains steadfast in its support of the Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces and their efforts to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” the consulate said in a statement.
It offered condolences to the families of the ‘brave’ Peshmerga who were killed in the attacks.
The German Consulate in Erbil also strongly condemned the attack and condoled with the families of the victims.