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ISIS REMNANTS OPEN TRAINING BASE IN KHANAQIN: PESHMERGA COMMANDER

ISIS REMNANTS OPEN TRAINING BASE IN KHANAQIN: PESHMERGA COMMANDER

2019/01/15 | 18:11

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- A collection of militants who fought for Islamic State (ISIS) have established a new training base near Hamrin dam in the Khanaqin district of Iraqs Diyala province, according to a Peshmerga commander. Commander of the Peshmergas 136th Brigade Osman Hassan told NRT Digital Media that a number of foreigner fighters are training remnants of the militant group at the base. “The ISIS movements are more at night and the remnants receive training at that base,” Hassan said on Monday (January 14). “They train people there and they then superstitiously transfer them to other areas,” he added. The commander further said that some local villagers were among those who had been trained at the ISIS training base. The security vacuum between the lines of the Peshmerga and Iraqi central government forces are increasingly exploited by ISIS to conduct operations in places like Kirkuk, Sinjar, Makhmour, and Khanaqin. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense has called for a joint military operation with the Peshmerga to fight the militants in those areas, the commander said, but the Peshmerga have so far refused to take part. He said that the Peshmerga preferred a scenario where Kurdish forces return to the areas that they controlled before October 2017. Iraqi forces took control of most of the disputed areas from the Peshmerga in the wake of the Kurdistan independence referendum. “They want to create a joint force [between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces]. But we disagree,” Hassan said. ISIS remnants have launched several attacks on the villages in Khanaqin district and Kirkuk province in the last few months. Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, however, have failed to reach an agreement on how to respond. Photos released on social media show villagers in Khanaqin district patrolling with weapons at night to protect their villages from attacks by ISIS militants. (NRT Digital Media)







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