On January 17, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast claimed the lives of an Iraqi officer and several soldiers in the western region.
The service members were carrying out a combing operation in the village of al-Shara’a al-Shamaliyah in Sinjar, north of the town of Tell Afar, when the IED went off.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defense of Iraq said Lieutenant Colonel Haider Adel Muhammad, commander of the 73th Infantry Brigade, was killed in the blast along with two soldiers.
Nevertheless, Mahma Khalil, Sinjar Mayor, told Kurdistan 24 that eight service members and a civilian were killed as a result of the IED attack.
Khalil’s claims was later adopted by ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the IED attack in a statement released by its news agency, Amaq. The group said the civilian killed in the blast was the mayor of al-Shara’a al-Shamaliyah.
ISIS cells have been very active in the western region of Iraq, mainly between Mosul and Tell Afar as well as in al-Anbar desert.
- On January 17, 3 Iraqi soldiers were killed by an IED blast north of Sanjar .
- On January 17, ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing a PMF commander in Jalawla town.
- On January 16, Israeli and US airstrikes on the Iraqi-Syrian border were designed to weaken the Iraqi control of western Iraq so ISIS can return, according to Fadhil al-Jaber, the deputy of the Fatah Coalition.
Iraqi government efforts are preventing ISIS from remerging in the western region. However, more needs to be done to neutralize the terrorist group’s threat. Internal political conflicts and tensions between Iran and the US are distracting the government.
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