The ISIS terrorist attack in Kirkuk, Iraq, represents a shift in the organization’s behavior, which has been subjected to successive strikes by Iraqi forces recently, raising questions about the extent to which the terrorist organization retains its ability in Iraq and to launch attacks, especially since the Iraqi government announced its victory over ISIS in 2017.
The recent attack killed four members of the Iraqi army, including three officers and an affiliate who died due to his severe wounds. ISIS lost many lives and a large group of its leaders, and these defeated gangs are trying to prove the presence of the organization, which has not and will not return again thanks to the brave men in the military and security services.
Regarding the details of the attack, the cell’s statement indicated that terrorist elements affiliated with the organization attacked with light and medium weapons a point belonging to the 32nd Brigade of the 8th Division of the Iraqi army near the village of Tal al-Ward in the Al-Multaqa district of Dibis in Kirkuk Governorate.
Regarding the goals that ISIS wanted to achieve from this operation, Iraqi academic and researcher Dr. Anmar al-Droubi said in exclusive statements to the Reference that these goals are represented in several aspects. The first aspect is the organization’s desire to send a message to the political system in Iraq that the organization still exists on the ground, poses a real threat, and can inflict casualties on troops.
The second goal is the organization’s desire to create a state of security instability in the areas where it is spread, especially in light of the Iraqi forces’ attempts to develop their tools to reach the organization’s safe havens, which are movements that represent a danger to ISIS remnants, especially in the areas of the Hamrin and Diyala mountains.
As for the third aspect, it is related to the nature of the organization, which tends to violence, as well as the desire to maintain its operational activity and not to appear as defeated despite the intensive operations that are carried out against it, in addition to the loss of many aspects of the strength that it enjoyed in the past, while the organization’s psychology is basically characterized as “hostile.”
Droubi believes that with regard to the organization’s ability to launch attacks in Iraq in general, it depends on several factors, the most prominent of which is the incubator from which the organization derives its ability to disappear and reappear, as well as to launch its terrorist operations from it and the weakness of the Iraqi security services’ intelligence information about the organization, in addition to the geopolitical factor, which represents the most important factor on which the organization depends.
The organization’s ability to continue carrying out its terrorist operations depends on the aforementioned factors, especially since the city of Kirkuk is very close to the city of Al-Azim in Diyala Governorate, which was one of the organization’s important strongholds. Not all of the aforementioned factors are available, but we emphasize here that this incubator is available, and certainly the incubator for ISIS means ideological motive. In the same context, the organization has undoubtedly been affected by previous strikes and campaigns against it.