45 ISIS suspects arrested in Kirkuk: military

ERBIL, Kurdistan (Rudaw) — Security forces in Kirkuk province arrested 45 terrorist suspects Monday.

Brigadier General Smko Mohammad, Kirkuk’s Asayish media officer, reported in a press conference on Monday, after Peshmerga forces took control of 11 villages south of Kirkuk, that they arrested 45 people who he claimed were “previously ISIS members who participated in fighting against Peshmerga.”

“Security forces in Kirkuk received information that ISIS elements tried to infiltrate into families who fled ISIS,” Mohammad added. “It was revealed that the 45 terrorist were taking part in the fight against Peshmerga.”

On September 7, Asayish loyal to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Kirkuk reported that in the past month 99 people were arrested, and at least some were ISIS militants.

On September 11, the Kurdistan region’s Peshmerga forces completed an operation that pushed ISIS militants out of areas south of Kirkuk, military sources told Rudaw.

An area of approximately 150 square kilometers (58 square miles) was recaptured from the militants as the Peshmerga forced ISIS out of 13 villages, the sources said.

The Peshmerga have remained a bulwark against ISIS expansion in northern Iraq ever since the militants attacked the Kurds in August last year, igniting a war in which some 1,200 Peshmerga have been killed, according to official figures.