Peshmerga Ministry says revival of ISIS sleeper cells ‘notable threat’


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SULAIMANI — The Peshmerga Ministry on Saturday (January 22) called for a review of security procedures in light of a renewed threat from Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells, after an attack from the militant group that killed 11 members of Iraqi forces in Diyala.

"The reappearance of armed groups and the revival of sleeper cells is a notable threat,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday, adding the cooperation between the Iraqi army and Peshmerga in areas with security gaps was a vital necessity.

The ministry also spoke out against Friday’s attack on Iraqi forces, saying, "We strongly condemn the ISIS attack on the Iraqi army that led to the martyrdom of a group of Iraqi soldiers in al-Azim sub-district, Diyala.”

The Peshmerga ministry asked for an increase in efforts to gather intelligence to "chase down and destroy all ISIS sleeper cells.”

Friday's attack in Diyala’s district of al-Khalis was one of the deadliest attacks on Iraqi forces in months. ISIS militants took advantage of foggy weather earlier on Friday to attack a barracks in al-Azim sub-district.

Federal Iraqi forces in cooperation with Peshmerga and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) declared victory over ISIS in 2017. Since then, the militant group has resorted to guerilla hit-and-run tactics but remains a potent threat in some parts of the country.

(NRT Digital Media)