Iraqi forces clash with militants near Nineveh border with Syria
Iraqi Security Forces clashed with two separate armed groups in western Nineveh province on Saturday, the Joint Operation Command announced. One member of the Iraqi security forces was killed.
In the first incident, a group of militants tried to cross into the western Shingal (Sinjar) region. A second clash occurred simultaneously inside Iraq’s territory on Mount Sinjar. The firefight lasted half an hour.
“An infiltration attempt was planned by a terrorist group for the purpose of crossing from the Syrian side towards Iraqi territory in the Dukchi border area, west of Mount Sinjar,” read a statement from the Joint Operation Command on Sunday. “The terrorist group fled the land.”
One soldier from the third regiment, sixth brigade was killed.
Following the attack, the Joint Operations Command called for re-enforcement on the Iraq–Syria border, including air support.
Shingal in western Nineveh province has been a volatile region since August 2014 when the Islamic State group (ISIS) overran the area, killing thousands of people and destroying the region. In recent years, the existence of a myriad of militia groups has caused further instability and a security gap, which has often been taken advantage of by ISIS. While officially ISIS no longer controls any territory in the area, the group carries out occasional attacks on security forces.
According to the ISIS propaganda magazine al-Nabaa, shared on the Telegram messaging app, in the past four weeks, the group carried out 101 attacks in Iraq and Syria, including 63 attacks on Iraqi forces and 38 on Syrian and Kurdish security forces in northeast Syria.
Shingal borders Syria’s Hasaka province. ISIS is still active in Hasaka and further south in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province.