An Iraqi flag flying in Kirkuk last December. Photo: Hiwa Hussamadin/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kirkuk police are reassuring the population that the region is secure amid concerns of possible threats from ISIS sleeper cells in the area.
Some units of Iraqi forces, Hashd al-Shaabi militias, and Federal Police have moved from positions west of Kirkuk and Daquq over the last three days. They explained the movement as redeployment, but some people are afraid because of the proximity to the Hamrin area where ISIS sleeper cells are believed to be located.
Hamasur Doshwani, member of PUK’s central council in Kirkuk, claimed to Rudaw that “ISIS has controlled 40 percent of the governorate, but Iraqi forces do not acknowledge this truth.”
The spokesperson for Kirkuk police, Afrasiaw Kamil Waisi, stressed that the situation was under control.
“The situation in Kirkuk and the surrounding areas is calm. Let the people be assured that there is no threat and what exists is only propaganda,” he told Rudaw.
ISIS sleeper cells are a persistent threat in the region. On Sunday, 27 Hashd fighters were killed
by the group.