On December 13, Abu Rida Najar, a commander of the northern axis in the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), announced that the PMU is preparing to launch a military operation against a new terrorist group called the “White Flags” in northern Iraq.
According to Najar, the new terrorist group operates in the mountainous area around the Shiite-Turkmen city of Tuz Khurmatu. The White Flags had conducted several hit and run attacks against the PMU’s Turkmen units around Tuz Khurmatu over the last few months, according to the PMU media wing.
“The upcoming days will witness the launch of a joint operation between the security forces and the PMU to secure the mountains that overlook the Turkmen villages around the Tuz Khurmatu region,” Najar told the PMU media wing.
Some Iraqi sources claimed that the White Flags is a new name of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Al-Islam, a radical Kurdish Islamist group, which was formed back in 2001. Other sources said that the group nothing more than a Kurdish armed group named “The Kurdish Popular Resistance”.
Regardless of its origins, all Iraqi sources believe that the White Flags is being supported by the former president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani as a tool to destabilize the area recaptured by the Iraqi Army from Kurdish Peshmerga forces in October.
The PMU and the Iraqi Army will likely eliminate the White Flags in the near future. Local sources say that the terrorist group has only around 200 poorly-armed fighters around Tuz Khurmatu.