Iraqi officials call for change to way federal government fights ISIS

BAGHDAD / KERKESLOKH, Iraq — Following an attack by the Islamic State on police officers in Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk), Iraqi officials called on the government to change the way it combats the terrorist organization, noting the gaps to be filled to achieve that goal.

From time to time, Iraqi security forces are attacked by ISIS elements and sleeper cells across the country. The most recent attack in Kerkeslokh killed 13 police officers. A previous attack targeted Makhmour District and left three soldiers dead and several others wounded.

During a joint press conference with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, Governor of Kerkeslokh Rakan al-Jubouri called for an emergency session of the National Security Council, arguing that the ways to counter terrorism in the province are wrong.

Al-Jubouri added that the province has large, uncovered areas that the terrorist organization uses to move and carry out its attacks, adding that official calls have been sent to the government in this regard.

In response to al-Jubouri, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.

During the meeting, al-Kadhimi stressed that ISIS’s potential is weak, but mismanagement and failure of military leaders has led to some breaches. It is necessary to put in place new mechanisms to avoid a recurrence of security incidents, he added.

Al-Kadhimi stressed the need to increase the role and effectiveness of the national intelligence agencies and to establish effective coordination mechanisms between all security and military institutions. To help solve the issue, he directed the formation of a central committee to investigate violations and prevent their recurrence in the future.

The security problems have not prevented or affected the anti-corruption investigations in Iraqi ministries, said cabinet spokesperson Hassan Nazim. The Anti-Corruption Commission has done its work efficiently, he said, and there are no indications of political and party actors obstructing an investigation into any corruption case.