Attackers Kill Iraqi Troops at Checkpoint
At least four Iraqi soldiers were said to have been shot dead and seven others wounded early Thursday at a military checkpoint some 30 miles northwest of Baghdad. In a similar attack at about the same time at another checkpoint, this time northeast of the capital, three police officers were shot and wounded. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but the checkpoints are located in the Anbar and Diyala provinces, respectively, places where Islamic State once held sway – and, it’s believed, is now calling for followers to stage attacks as it remains for the most part in the shadows. ISIS has claimed credit for previous attacks in these areas since being uprooted from territory it held there and in Syria. Iraq has also been facing a spate of attacks from the air, whether from missiles, unmanned aircraft or drones. It has attributed them to Israel. The targets have been bases and personnel of the so-called Popular Mobilization Forces, militias that take their orders from Tehran rather than from Baghdad. Israel has admitted to staging numerous strikes against Iranian forces or Iranian proxies in Syria, but has remained mum about the attacks on Iraqi territory. The government of Iraq recently began an effort to integrate the militias into the country’s official military, though there has been pushback from some of their top personnel.