The Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga are establishing a security zone around Jalula in northeastern Diyala, northeastern Iraq. On November 23, the Peshmerga along with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi Shi’a militias were able to regain both Jalula and Sadia, which is also in northeastern Diyala, from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
The Peshmerga are applying security measures in Jalula in order to prevent the reconstitution of ISIS inside the city and also to address the threat of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) emplaced by ISIS. Furthermore, the Peshmerga are implementing these preemptive measures to weaken future ISIS plans to attack the center of Jalula. The ISF and supporting Iraqi Shi’a militias within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) are seeking to capitalize on recent gains made in Baiji in northern Iraq’s Salah ad-Din province to reclaim the provincial capital of Tikrit. There have been attempts to retake Tikrit in the past, but it will be important to watch if the recent gains against ISIS can result in more successful operations to clear the group from Tikrit. As the threat of ISIS persists, the threat of lawlessness is also increasing. This threat is increasing particularly in Diyala, Baghdad, and also in Basra in southern Iraq. In most cases, Iraqi Shi’a militias, or groups operating under the cover of Iraqi Shi’a militias are carrying out the operations. In Anbar, the contest between ISIS and anti-ISIS continues and ISIS is now targeting the Trebil border crossing on the Iraqi-Jordanian border in the province in order to divert ISF and anti-ISIS tribal resources.
Source: Institute for the Study of War Iraq Update, November 24, 2014