As it fights for Mosul, ISIS increases attacks further southBy Rudaw [ltr]9 hours ago [/ltr]
Peshmerga guard a municipality building in Qaratapa. Rudaw photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – As a military offensive against ISIS in Mosul approaches its sixth week, the group is increasing attacks further south in Diyala, where militants recently bombed electricity installations in Qaratapa, leaving the town and dozens of surrounding villages without electricity.
“ISIS has increased its movements in the area and their last activity was a few days ago when they bombed several electrical transmission towers, leaving the town of Qaratapa and Jabara, together with 83 villages, without power,” Qaratapa Mayor Wahab Ahmed told Rudaw.
He urged officials to help restore electricity to the area in two weeks to relieve the difficulties the power outage has caused among residents.
He also called upon Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi army forces to drive the group out of the area, since the group’s "hazardous actions" is on the rise there.
He went on to explain that “the militants are mainly outside Qaratapa town, and that is why they need to be raided to locate them and stop their actions.”
Fighting has been reported several times in the past between Peshmerga and ISIS militants in Qaratapa, as the group was trying to capture the town but faced stiff resistance from the Peshmerga and residents.
Last month, at least seven militants were captured by Peshmerga security forces as they were reportedly “plotting” to carry out terror attacks inside the town.
Qaratapa is a multiethnic town in Khanaqin district, northern Diyala province. It has a population of 43,000 and most of the local government is run by Kurds.