Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Sunday launched an assault on a Kurdish village in Kirkuk, which was also earlier attacked by the militants on Saturday night.
During a late-night attack on Sunday on the Liheban village, in the Sargaran subdistrict of northern Kirkuk province, ISIS militants attacked the village.
Amid a surge in ISIS assaults and the lack of any response from the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga forces of Iraqi Kurdistan, the locals tried to protect their village by their own means, but eventually they had to flee, according to ANF.
ESTA reported that Peshmerga and Iraqi Government forces have entered the village as of Monday morning.
Ramazan Osman, Sargaran district officer of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), announced that ISIS militants set fire to many houses in the village, according to ANF.
“Out of 15 families, five had left the village on Sunday after Saturday night’s ISIS attack,” Khidir Ali, a resident of Liheban, told Bas News.
“The village is located between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army. We call for the deployment of Peshmerga forces to the village or the remaining 10 families could leave, too,” Ali had said.
Last week, 18 peshmerga and 3 civilians were killed in deadly ISIS assaults in the region.
There were 65 families in Liheban in the summer of 2020, and by mid-2021, there were only about 25 families still there, then following the Saturday night’s ISIS attack, fifteen more vacated their homes, according to Kurdistan 24.
After ISIS was defeated in Baghouz on 21 March 2019, it has begun to re-organise itself mainly based in Sunni areas in central Iraq and it it also chose areas occupied by the Turkish state as an area of safe haven , according to Kurdish journalist Fehim Işık, who analysed the rising ISIS threat in the region in his last article.
Drawing attention to the fact that attacks are carried out mainly in the vicinity of Kirkuk, Işık warns that there are also ISIS cells in downtown Kirkuk, and these cells could strike again anytime soon.