The Islamic State (ISIS) lives a revival after the Turkish occupation of Afrin. They have carried out attacks in central places and surroundings of Kirkuk and Mosul in Iraq. In these attacks, hundreds of civilians and also Iraqi soldiers, federal police members and Heshdi Shabi militias were killed.
by Seyid Evran
The barbarian structure called ISIS has been created to haunt the peoples of Syria and Iraq since 2013. Indisputably, this great trouble for the peoples and different religious groups in Iraq and Syria has enjoyed the extensive support of Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mainly Russia and numerous other countries hold a lot of documents and evidences of this connection. In addition to those, there are evidences of setting up not only a line of oil trade between Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and el Bab, but also trade of different products between ISIS and Turkey.
At this level, it has been revealed many times by international authorities that the real facade of ISIS is in fact R. T. Erdogan and the Turkish state under his command.
In Syria and particularly in Northern-Syria, parallel to the liberation battles of SDF in Tabqa, Raqqa and operations against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor, the Syrian BAAS regime has also launched operations against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor, Tedmur, Hama, Homs and in the surroundings of Idlib. With these moves and operations, ISIS has received severe blows in Syrian and Northern-Syrian territories and lost its impact, thus became a marginal power in the region.
In Iraq on the other hand the Iraqi army and the Heshdi Shabi forces have started operations against ISIS in central areas like Diyala, Mosul, Anbar, Tel Afer and Tikrit. ISIS has been expelled from these areas. Recently in October with the operation started in Havice, Kirkuk the area was cleaned from ISIS. With this operation, ISIS is removed from positions it occupied in Syria and Northern-Syria.
After the Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces took back Havice from ISIS, the Iraqi prime minister Haydar El Abadi announced that ISIS had lost in Iraq and wouldn’t exist anymore.
In October in Syrian and Northern-Syrian territories the YPG, YPJ and QSD (SDF) had accomplished great results in the struggle against ISIS. So did the Iraqi army, federal police and Heshdi Shabi forces in Iraqi territories. But after Erdogan and Turkish state under his command started the massacre and occupation attempts on Afrin, ISIS has revived and carried out new attacks in Iraq (Mosul, Anbar, Diyala and Kirkuk), as well as in Syria and Northern-Syria (Hama, Homs, Idlib, Temur and Deir ez-Zor).
After the attacks that Erdogan and his occupation forces started on January 20th, ISIS attacked six different SDF positions in and around Deir ez-Zor. SDF repelled these attacks. However the attacks continued regularly in the area.
Parallel to the attacks against Deir ez-Zor on the Eastern part of Syria and Northern-Syria. Through Hama and Homs ISIS even reached to Idlib and carried out assaults.
In these attempts they occupied 19 villages in the Hama, Homs and Idlib triangle.
As ISIS was carrying out these attacks on the Eastern and central regions of Syria, it also participated in the Afrin occupation along the Turkish army under different disguises. This was confirmed through the recognition of well-known ISIS members.
ISIS attacks after 20th of January
After the recapture of Havice province in Kirkuk in October, ISIS was about to lapse. However, until now they were able to carry out a total number of 440 bombings, assassinations and armed attacks in Diyala, Mosul, Anbar provinces and neighborhoods in and around Kirkuk.
In these attacks 500 Iraqi civilians and more than 200 security forces have been killed by ISIS militants. All this happened after January 20th as Erdogan and the occupying Turkish army started the attacks on Afrin.
Erdoğan and his occupation forces started their invasion on January 20th and ISIS carried out a car bombing in Dakuk province in Kirkuk on January 25th. No one died in the attack.
On January 29th ISIS removed the Iraqi flag from the Hammam el Alil city, where it was being displayed since the recapture of the city in November 2016. The jihadists threatened the residents not to raise the Iraqi flag again. In February the ISIS attacks in and around Mosul, Diyala and Kirkuk were increased.
Increasing attacks in February
On February 19th ISIS carried out an ambush against the Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces on the road between Shahriye and Saduniye villages, 50km West of Kirkuk. In the ambush 15 Heshdi Shabi members were killed and 20 further were abducted by ISIS. Afterwards a contr-opperation was launched by the Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces. The bodies of the 20 Heshdi Shabi members were found dead.
On February 25th in Kirkuk city center ISIS carried out a suicide attack against the Asayish Ehli Hak (police) office. 3 security guards were injured in the attack. The same day ISIS has attacked the oil well number 43 in Hubbaza oil field in Kirkuk and killed 2 members of the federal police.
Iraqi army launched an operation because of the attacks carried out by ISIS in Kirkuk, Musul, Diyala and Anbar, covering the Shaneshin mountainside as well. The operation took place between February 26th and 28th. 8 ISIS members were killed in the Uzeyriye village on the south of Beshir town of Kirkuk.
ISIS responded to this operation with a motorcycle bombing attack on February 27th.
ISIS Attacks peaked during March
In March, ISIS attacks peaked in Iraqi and Northern-Iraqi regions after Erdogan and his Turkish invasion army started attacking the Afrin canton January 20th. The attacks started on March 3rd and continued afterwards.
On March 3rd clashes happened in Xurmatu on the Kirkuk-Tikrit road, between ISIS members and the Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces. 6 ISIS members were killed in the clashes.
On March 4th Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces raided an ISIS group in preparation in Cevale village near Reshat province of Kirkuk. 8 ISIS members were killed in the clashes.
On March 5th there was an attack against a police station in Havice province of Kirkuk. The responding federal police and Heshdi Shabi forces killed 8 ISIS members.
Due to the increasing attacks of ISIS in center and surroundings of Kirkuk Iraqi army, Heshdi Shabi and the federal police forces started an operation on March 9th. The aim was to stop the attacks. However two days later on March 11th ISIS carried out an ambush against Heshdi Ashari forces, who are close to Heshdi Shabi, with a land mine setup on the road. One Hashdi Ashari member died and one more was injured because of the explosion.
Even though the Iraqi army and its accompanying forces tried to stop the ISIS attacks with numerous operations carried out around Kirkuk, Havice and Riyad provinces, ISIS continued with its attacks. On March 12th ISIS build a checkpoint on the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway near the El Azim town of Bakuba province. Civilians were chased out of their vehicles at the checkpoint. Ten of these civilians were killed and five injured. ISIS continued their attacks with a motorcycle bombing on March 13th.
Further checkpoints were set up March 19th in the Hilvata village of Kirkuk and March 20th near Havice province. In Hivlata one civilian was killed. Near the Havice province checkpoint one civilian was killed and three others injured.
On March 20th ISIS attacked the Iraqi army and Heshdi Shabi forces in the Sergaran village, which is one of the oil centers of Kirkuk. In the attack one member of Heshdi Shabi was killed. One day after this attack, on March 21st, ISIS attacked Iraqi federal police guards protecting the Allas oil well on the Hemrin Mountain. Five policemen were killed. The same day a bus carrying civilians between Xurmatu-Dakuk were attacked and six civilians, two of them children, were killed and 15 civilians injured. ISIS members ambushed Iraqi federal police near the Hemrin Mountain, abducted eight policemen and later executed them and withdrew to the Hemrin Mountain.
ISIS continued its attacks on March 25th with a car bombing in Kirkuk city center near the governor’s office and an ambush against the Heshdi Shabi members in Havice, 55km southwest of Kirkuk, killing five.
This data shows how the ISIS has increased the number of attacks mainly in Kirkuk and Mosul but also in many Iraqi cities starting from January on; mainly after Erdogan and his invading Turkish army carried out the attacks against the Afrin canton.
Erdogan started the assault on Afrin right after it was declared that ISIS was coming to an end in Syria and Iraq. USA, Iran, France and many other countries have emphasized the same issue. This data proves how Erdogan helped ISIS to revive and carry out attacks in Syria and Iraq. It also shows what kind of a “gang-state” he is planning to found with the ISIS and El Nusra on the territory from Cerablus until Idlib.
(published 30/03/2018 by Firat News Agency and translated by IC Afrin Resist)