Monday evening Islamic State fighters assaulted Kakai village located in the Daquq region, one resident was killed during the raid. A local resident, Sardar Hama, who escaped told press that,

Late last night, nearly 40 to 50 ISIS militants seized control of a Kakai village, Ali Saray, killed one person and injured two others. The militants spoke Arabic. They described us as non-believers and the area as a place of Muslims. They vowed they would kill those who won’t pay allegiance to the Islamic State.”

The Islamic State members operating around Kirkuk and Diyala have increased their activities recently, the are frequently carrying out attacks against both security forces and residents after nightfall. Over the weekend a mother and daughter living in Hamrin village were beheaded when militants invaded their home in the middle of the night. According to a spokesman by the name of Hasan Pirwali, the two women worked for the Iraqi electoral commission. Representing the committee, Hasan told reporters that, “Last night, ISIS militants had raided their house and beheaded the mother of Ghazwan and her elder daughter. In addition to killing the mother and her daughter, they had beaten the other two sisters of Ghazwan with iron and severely injured them.” The surviving sisters are in the hospital with severe head injuries and have been listed as critical. The remaining pockets of Islamic State resistance are primarily in and around the Hamrin mountains. Militants have launched attacks numerous attacks from there, going after villagers and soldiers alike in the form of kidnappings and murder. Peshmerga intelligence officer Major Ahmad Mustafa informed the media that, large territories in Diyala are currently controlled by ISIS, including areas in Qaratapa, Nada, Naftkhana, Wadi Salab, Sheikh Baba gardens, and Kani Masi. Concluding with,

These areas are home to ISIS militants, and there are no forces there to confront them.”

The region was held down by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces but they were forced to leave in October when the Iraqi controlled Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary forces moved into the territory. Residents are increasingly demanding that the Peshmerga return to coordinate with Iraqi Security Forces to maintain order and safety. Iraqi parliament member Shakhawan Abdullah said, “I am concerned by the silence and lack of a stance from the Kurdish parties recently. I call on them to meet immediately, protest, and take a stance on the abnormal situation imposed on the area,” in reference to the destabilization. Peshmerga intelligence services estimate that the Islamic State controls nearly 85% of the Hamrin Mountains, presently.

Featured image: Mt. Dena | By Vah.hem [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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