IS insurgency exploits Baghdad-KRG conflict

23 Nov 2017   Iraq

Thousands of federal and Kurdish soldiers are pointing their weapons at each other, leaving volatile territory inadequately guarded and vulnerable to an emboldened IS insurgency. Iraqi forces drive past an oil production plant as they head towards the city of Kirkuk on October 16, 2017. ( The self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group is taking advantage of new security gaps in northern Iraq, capitalizing on a deteriorating rivalry between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Insurgents have launched an escalating campaign of guerrilla-style attacks since Oct. 16, when federal security forces began to shift their focus away from IS and launched an operation to reclaim Kirkuk and other disputed territories from the KRG. “Attention is being taken away from the ISIS threat and [focused] more on posturing and positioning between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces,” said Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesperson for the U.S. […]

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