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Islamic State conducts attacks near Iraq’s Syrian and Iranian borders

A number of attacks in Iraq’s bordering province, especially Diyala along the Iranian border, have raised concern. Islamic State fighters have filmed themselves with weapons that appear to be of Iranian origin, while security gaps remain due to tension between the KRG and Baghdad.
A picture taken on October 2, 2019, shows the Khosrawi border crossing between Iraq and Iran, also known as the Munthriya border crossing, in the Diyala province of eastern Iraq, as Iranian pilgrims arrive on their way to the central Iraqi shrine city of Karbala ahead of the Arbaeen religious festival. (Photo by Younis AL-BAYATI / AFP) (Photo by YOUNIS AL-BAYATI/AFP via Getty Images)

An uptick in Islamic State (IS) attacks in Iraq’s Diyala province, which borders Iran but also stretches south to the outskirts of the capital, has concerned Iraqi officials and analysts.

On April 27, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanmi visited the 5th Division in Diyala to assess the current situation in light of the increased threat. There have also been significant security incidents in recent weeks in neighboring Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces, including an attempted suicide attack on Kirkuk intelligence offices on April 28.

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