Two Iraqi soldiers killed in IS attack north of Baghdad
Two Iraqi soldiers were killed on Wednesday morning and four more injured after an Islamic State group attack on a military base north of Baghdad, Iraqi security sources have told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service.
A security source said IS militants assaulted the Iraqi army's 2nd Regiment HQ in the town of Mutaibijah, eastern Salah Al-Din province.
"The IS elements managed to withdraw before reinforcements arrived at the scene of the attack. The reinforcements began a combing operation to look for the IS elements," he said.
Iraqi security sources recently warned that IS could step up its attacks in the country.
On Monday night, the extremist group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a packed marketplace in the mainly Shia Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, killing 35 people and injured scores more.
An officer in Iraq's Joint Operations Command told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service: "Our intelligence information shows that [IS] have a plan to intensify attacks in Baghdad and the liberated provinces."
"The explosion in Sadr City was the first of these attacks, which aim to bring chaos to the security situation in the country," he added.
The officer, who chose to remain anonymous, added that IS' new strategy was to carry out attacks in different provinces of Iraq, spread out over a wide geographical area.
"Its goal is to disperse the efforts of security forces," he said, adding that Iraqi security forces have plans to counter the extremist group's escalation in attacks.
IS took control of most of north-central Iraq in 2014 but were militarily defeated in the country by Iraqi government forces and allied militias in 2017. However, the extremist group still has active cells in the country and carries out regular attacks.