Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Dozens of Islamic State members are entering Kirkuk everyday sneaking in the middle of refugees flowing on the province, al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said.
“Daesh (Islamic State) militants are entering (the province) everyday hiding among refugees, and dozens of them are currently at refugee camps in Kirkuk,” said Hussein al-Jubouri, a commander of al-Shohadaa brigade, one component of al-Hashd al-Shaabi.
He urged security authorities to thoroughly screen the names of incoming refugees before granting them entry. “Al-Hashd forces in Hawija maintain a audio-video database of IS members in regions under the group’s control in southwestern Kirkuk,” Jubouri said. “Information we had received from sources vin Hawija denote a surge in the group’s elements there to more than 2000, mostly Iraqi natives.”
Refugee camps in Kirkuk have received tens of refugees everyday fleeing southwestern regions under IS control since security forces launched operations in October to clear the neighboring city of Mosul from group extremists, leaving at least 191.000 displaced according to a latest government count.
Local tribal leaders in Kirkuk have recently attacked the Iraqi government for delay in launching operations against IS in the province. But on Saturday, Hadi al-Ameri, a senior leader at al-Hashd, which is actively backing the Iraqi forces against IS, said operations would launch soon in Kirkuk.