MESOP FLASH: ISIS Responds to Mosul Offensive with Attack on Kirkuk

21 Oct 2016 – Responding to the Iraqi-Kurdish offensive against its main position in Mosul, the Islamic State has attacked government and security buildings in the city of Kirkuk. ISIS fighters detonated at least three car bombs and clashed with security forces on Friday, briefly occupying the formr Kirkuk police station and attacking a power plant.Kirkuk officials said that at least ten fighters were killed, while ten employees of the power plant died amid suicide bombings.

Sarhad Qadir, the Kirkuk police chief, asked residents of the city “to stay indoors until the situation is under control”. He asserted, “Some people in Kirkuk have been collaborating with ISIS,”The Kirkuk Governor, Najmaldin Karim, added, “It was expected that ISIS sleeper cells would make a move one day in Kirkuk now that the Mosul offensive has started and they want to boost their own morale this way.” Kirkuk lies on the edge of Iraqi Kurdistan and the rest of the country. Important for its proximity to oil, it has a diverse Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen population.