Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Police in Kirkuk arrested on Friday two members of the Islamic State who had taken part in executions of Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Police chief Sarhad Qader was quoted by Aljournal News saying a police force arrested the pair near Daqouq region, west of the province. He said the two members took part in battles against Peshmerga forces and also executed some of its troopers in the Islamic State stronghold town of Hawija, southwest of the province.
“There had been videos and posts proving that the arrested terrorists took part in beheading Peshmerga captives,” Qader stated, adding that both had been referred to the judiciary.
Since emerging in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”, IS members executed hundreds of Iraqi and Kurdish security members as well as civilians. The group is still holding areas in southwestern Kirkuk, where thousands of civilians had to flee the group’s rule to refugee camps in the province and neighboring cities. Local officials have repeatedly urged the government to hasten with security efforts to liberate IS-held regions in Kirkuk, but the Iraqi government currently employs its full military power in the six-month-old campaign to retake Mosul, IS’s biggest stronghold in Iraq.
A latest count by the Kurdish Peshmerga ministry counted 1600 deaths among its fighters since it participated in the battles against the extremist group. On Wednesday, the ministry said 62 Peshmerga fighters were still missing.