MP Haneen al-Qado on Sunday accused some political parties, who he did not
name, by being behind the fires that broke out in the wheat fields and barley over
the past month, for unknown reasons.
The fields of the Nineveh Plains, al-Hamdaniyyah and Tal Afar suffered the most from the consecutive fires, as thousands of donums of wheat and barley were burnt, Qado said.
The series of fires that broke out in wheat and barley fields proved to be deliberate, as videos obtained confirmed the presence of people and vehicles while burning the fields, Qado added.
"Accusing political parties of this bad act that harms the peasantry class, the national economy and food security for unknown reasons, [can] never be ruled out," he continued.
The Iraqi fire service says that in a single month, 236 fires destroyed 5,183 hectares (more than 12,800 acres) of farmland -- the equivalent of more than 7,000 football pitches.
ISIS claiming credit
ISIS militants claimed responsibility for burning crops in their weekly newsletter, al-Nabaa, saying they targeted farms belonging to senior officials in six Iraqi provinces and in Kurdish-administered eastern Syria, highlighting the persistent threat from the group even after its territorial defeat, CBS News reported.
ISIS said it burned the farms of "the apostates in Iraq and the Levant" and called for more.
"It seems that it will be a hot summer that will burn the pockets of the apostates as well as their hearts as they burned the Muslims and their homes in the past years," the article said.
A security source said in May that 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 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, a security source said.
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.