Early on May 2, ISIS cells carried out a coordinated, large-scale attack on positions of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in the northern Iraqi province of Saladin.
The attack targeted a newly-established position of the PMU near the town of Mukeshefah and another position in the town of Balad.
PMU fighters showed fierce resistance in the course of the clashes. In spite of this, ISIS terrorists overrun the position in Mukeshefah.
“PMU forces killed and injured a number of ISIS terrorists while repelling the attack, they also surrounded the targeted areas to track the criminal gangs of ISIS, after the arrival of aerial and ground reinforcements,” the PMU’s report said.
The PMU acknowledged that ten of its fighters were killed during the attack. Nine from the Tigris Regiment were killed in Mukeshefah and a fighter from the 41th Brigade was killed in the attack on Balad.
Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji, a spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations, said the attack on Mukeshefah was carried out by a group of ISIS terrorists who recently fled from nearby Matabija. The group carried out the attack in cooperation with local cells in Mukeshefah.
ISIS has not yet commented on the attack. The group’s agency, Amaq, usually releases details on such large operations within 24 hours.
This was one of ISIS’ largest attacks since its defeat in Iraq in 2017. The attack proves that the group’s influence is still growing in the war-torn country, in spite of the continues efforts by Iraqi government forces.