The Iraqi Assault on Kurdish Territory is Creating a Vacuum for ISIS to Re-Emerge
As Iraq decides to concentrate its efforts against the Iraqi Kurds and their push for independence, ISIS gains ground once again. So long as ISIS doesn’t menace Iraqi areas, and only threatens Iraqi Kurd areas, the US-backed military of Iraq is content to allow ISIS to resurface.
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With Iraq’s military spending the week pushing an offensive against Kurdish Peshmerga fores, ISIS has taken the opportunity to launch an offensive of its own, seizing multiple villages south of Kirkuk, which were no longer defended.
The area the ISIS forces attacked is near Hawija, a city they held for a long time, and its likely ISIS fighters who fled the city were still in the vicinity, waiting for an opportunity to counter-attack.
The US has been pushing Iraq not to continue its offensive with the Kurds, specifically on the fear that it would distract from fighting ISIS. Analysts, however, say they believe that Iraq’s priority is completely with fighting the Kurds now.