Provincial official warns of new Islamic State threat in Muqdadiyah

Paramilitary fighters and military vehicles are seen during a military operation to retake positions held by Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province, north of Baghdad January 25, 2015. Picture taken January 25, 2015. REUTERS

Diyala ( – A well-placed provincial official in Diyala has warned of a new Islamic State threat in the province’s Muqdadiyah district.

Speaking to Alghad Press on Wednesday, Head of Muqdadiyah City Council Adnan al-Tamimi said, “The northern and eastern parts of Muqdadiyah have recently witnessed movements for Islamic State terrorists and some reports claimed that the militant group has hotbeds there.”

“Muqdadiyah is now vulnerable to terrorist attacks and killing of innocent people by IS cells,” Tamimi warned, calling on security bodies in Diyala province to purge surrounding areas from Islamic State.

“The council will directly address the Joint Operations Command if no action was taken against the threat of the terrorist group,” he vowed.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq 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 paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State marking an end to a three-year war against the militant group.

Despite the victory over IS, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.

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