Eleven Iraqi soldiers killed in an attack

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Eleven Iraqi soldiers were killed overnight in a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, an official confirmed the death toll to state media on Friday.

Ten soldiers and one officer were killed when an Iraqi base was raided early Friday, Diyala governor Muthanna al-Tamimi said, adding that the Iraqi army were caught unprepared, alleging negligence.

“The main reason is the soldiers’ neglect in carrying out their duties, because the base is completely fortified with thermal cameras, night vision, as well as a concrete watchtower,” he said.

The attack took place around 2:30 am, against an Iraqi base in the Hawi al-Azim area, a senior military official based in the province told AFP on the condition of anonymity while claiming that ISIS had launched the offensive.

“Eleven soldiers… have been killed during an attack carried out by the Islamic State… targeting a base of the army,” the source added.

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Friday described the attack as a “despicable and unsuccessful attempt” to target Iraq’s security. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the offensive.

ISIS seized control of swathes of land in Iraq in 2014. The group was declared territorially defeated in 2017 but it continues to carry out bombings, hit-and-run attacks, and abductions across several provinces. ISIS remnants are particularly active in parts of northern Iraq that are disputed by Erbil and Baghdad, including in the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, and Salahaddin.

The terror group launched over 257 offensives, killing 387, and injuring 518 people, including Iraqi and Kurdish fighters over the past year. 

Iraqi and security forces often carry operations to arrest members of the terror group.

A highly sought ISIS member was arrested in Kirkuk earlier in January. 

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