Islamic State (ISIS) militants killed four Kurdish security members and wounded eight others in an assault on a checkpoint near Kifri south of Kirkuk Wednesday night.
A group of ISIS fighters attacked the checkpoint manned by Kurdish security forces known as Asayesh in Kolajo in the Garmiyan region at 11:00 pm. Commander of Garmiyan operations Aso Jalal, as well as an Asayesh member named Haidar Fuad, were among those killed, according to Khalil Khudada, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) office in Jalawla.
“ISIS launched the attack in the beginning with mortar shells, firing some mortars on the center of Kolajo town,” Khudada said. “They later attacked the Gulala Asayesh base with snipers.”
Khudada added that after ISIS attacked the Asayesh base, Kurdish Counter-Terror Group (CTG) forces rushed to repel them. Then, a landmine which the militants had laid targeted a vehicle of the counter terror forces and killed two of its members.
Among the wounded are two civilians, four CTG members and two Asayesh members, according to Khudada.
“Two of the wounded are in critical condition,” and were rushed to Sulaimani for treatment, he said.
Kifri is in the Diyala province and is 188 kilometers southeast of Erbil between Kalar and Tuz Khurmatu. Diyala is disputed between both the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi federal governments.
ISIS remnants have maintained a presence in the Hamrin mountains in the area, despite Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces’ operations.
The militant group was declared defeated in Iraq in December 2017, but sleeper cells and small groups of the jihadists are still active, especially in areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil in the security gaps between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.