IS steps up nighttime assaults near Diyala oil fields

Thousands of Islamic State militants are believed to be in the area, exploiting security gaps.
IS steps up nighttime assaults near Diyala oil fields
Iraqi fire fighters battle a fire in the Alas oil field on Oct. 8, 2017, which was set ablaze by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group as it fled from Iraqi forces. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

Insurgents from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group have launched a barrage of attacks in the past week, including increasingly complex, multi-pronged, nighttime operations against security forces stationed near the Naftkhana oil fields in northeastern Iraq.

On Wednesday, three members of the Peshmerga security forces were killed as they repelled an attack in Dakka, which is an area long under Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) control, east of Kullajo and north of Khanaqin in Diyala province, a senior Peshmerga officer in the area said.

Another eight separate IS assaults in northern Diyala have taken place in the last week alone, killing 14 and injuring 25 members of a variety of Iraqi security forces — including paramilitary groups operating under the government's al-Hashid al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization) program, Peshmerga, and Iraqi Army — according to incident reports gathered from local security officials.

The incidents are part of an uptick in insurgent operations along a corridor of disputed territory stretching across northern Iraq, which is claimed by both the federal government and the KRG.

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