Islamic State still poses serious threat to Kirkuk’s security, governor warns

Iraqi troops carry their weapons to celebrate Iraq’s victory over terrorism

Kirkuk ( – Kirkuk Governor Rakan al-Jabouri warned on Tuesday that the Islamic State group still poses a serious threat to his governorate’s security.

Speaking to the Russian Sputnik news agency, Jabouri pointed out that IS members are still active in Kirkuk’s remote areas and farms around villages.

Therefore, he called for “launching a new military operation to dislodge IS remnants from Kirkuk.”

“IS militants surprisingly disappeared from the scene after Iraqi troops launched a military operation to liberate the province from them,” the governor said.

Jabouri further accused IS militants of launching attacks against security forces and kidnapping citizens.

Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of Hawija to remote areas.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence earlier in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary troops, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.

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