On December 9, 2017, Haidar al-Abadi, the then-prime minister and
commander-in-chief of the armed forces, declared victory over ISIS and the liberation
of all Iraqi territory from the terrorist group's grip.
At the time, Abadi said Iraqi forces completely gained control along the border with Syria.
Those areas have been declared liberated from ISIS, however, they still suffer from armed terror attacks carried out by the terrorist group, in addition to kidnappings and revenge operations, including burning wheat fields, according to some reports that quoted number of parties.
Secretary General of the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry, Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar said on Friday that the vacant areas between the army and the Peshmerga forces pose a danger to the region.
Yawar said that ISIS elements' movements have increased in several areas, including Diyala, Hamrin, the outskirts of Tuz khurmato, Kefri and areas south of Kirkuk.
Some statistics revealed that ISIS has carried out 456 terrorist operations in 2018 in these areas, causing the death of 1742 people from the Iraqi security forces and civilians, Yawar said. During the first four months of 2019, ISIS carried out 100 terrorist operations, killing 407 people, he added.
The reason for the emergence of ISIS in these areas is the federal forces' failure to control them, or the presence of empty areas that are not controlled by neither the army nor the Peshmerga, reaching 40 kilometers.
In May, fire broke out at least three times while the reason behind the fire remained unknown. However, a security source accused ISIS elements of being behind the fires.
A number of ISIS elements set fire to fields of wheat and barley in Nineveh's Makhmour, as owners of the fields refused to pay royalties, the source said.
The armed militias of ISIS are roaming freely in the land that separate the positions of the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army, govern this area, impose royalties on residents in the region and punish those who refrain from paying, he added.
ISIS imposed $5,000 on the owners of the fields, om addition to 15 to 20 percent of the crop, according to the source.
The farmers have lost what is equivalent to seven months of efforts, the source added.
In May, Brigadier-General Najm al-Jabouri, head of the Iraqi army’s Nineveh Operations Command, revealed plans by the Iraqi military to arm citizens in 50 villages near Mosul so they can protect themselves.
"The army chief-of-staff decided to arm residents of 50 villages near Mosul to allow them to defend themselves against possible terrorist attacks,” he said.
Gunmen shot dead five members of a family in an attack on their house near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul earlier in May, police officials and hospital sources said.
Police officials in the area said ISIS militants were involved in the attack.
An interior ministry statement said "terrorist elements" attacked a house of a village community supervisor in the Hammam al-Alil area south of Mosul, killing him, his two sons, his nephew, his mother, and wounding two others.