Two terrorist attacks in different cities of Iraq claimed the lives of dozens. Mosul and Kirkuk attack ringed the bells for a potential resurgence of ISIS.
A terrorist attack in Kirkuk claimed the lives of 13 Iraqi police officers and wounded many more. Early reports indicate that ISIS forces perpetrated the Kirkuk attack in a police checkpoint.
According to Al-Jazeera, the two attacks occurred early on Sunday minutes after midnight in the vicinity of al-Rashad area. The attackers meant to target the security guards to discourage and frighten the country’s security staff.
The assailants initially clashed in a 2-hour military standoff with police forces, in which three policemen lost their lives. According to the local police, terrorists deployed roadside explosives to block reinforcements from accessing the checkpoint.
They ruined three military vehicles this way through various blasts. Troops arriving in the region were targeted and murdered by these bombs.
3 police forces suffered injuries in the incident, and one was missing according to early reports. No group or part claimed responsibility for the Kirkuk attack yet, although ISIS, present in the region, are the primary suspects.
In another attack, terrorists assaulted a military checkpoint in suburbs of Mosul the same day. The attack led to the death of 3 Iraqi troops and wounded one, according to security officials.
ISIS suffered final defeats in 2017 with losing final soils in Iraq and Syria. The group, nevertheless, keeps up with terrorist attacks in different regions. Having no headquarter, the group seems to be adopting a partisan war method to continue reinforcing its debilitated structure.
Iraq and Syria were the main victims of the group’s aspiration for establishing an Islamic state. The countries are still fertile soils for the development of the group in a potential near future.
Kirkuk Attack; A Sign of resurgence?
In a blistering onslaught seven years ago, ISIS conquered large parts of Iraq and Syria. The group was driven back through the intervention of Iranian, Russian, and western military forces.
Iraq administration proclaimed the extermination of ISIS in late months of 2017. Nevertheless, it still retains secret forces, generally known as sleeper cells, that carry out irregular assaults against security personnel.
The cells frequently strike Iraqi military and security forces in the northern regions of the country. The Kirkuk attack was one of the bloodiest attacks in 2021.
ISIS also claimed responsibility for a blast in Sadr City last July. the deadly terrorist attack in al-Woheilat Market killed 30 people.
There are about 3,500 international forces in the country. The US holds the majority with more than 2,500 troops. Nevertheless, in response to assaults on US installations, Washington has reduced its troops numbers. The country announced that, beginning next year, US mission will be reduced to training and assisting in Iraq.
French President visited the region on Sunday and voiced alarm over potential ISIS “resurgence” in Iraq and Syria. Emanuel Macron also stressed that “no matter what choices the Americans make,” France will keep its forces in the country as a way to assist Iraqi government to contain the threats.
The US abrupt and tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the resurgence of a group the elimination of which had been the primary goal of the attack 2 decades earlier. While the public tendency in Iraq is the withdrawal of all foreign forces, a systematic plan for it is a necessity.
Like Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS proved determination for resurgence in Iraq in the past months. Kirkuk attack is one among many signals showing the urgency of responsible conduct by Washington in coming months.