At Least 1,000 ISIS Militants Defect To The Kurdish Forces Near Kirkuk, Iraq

A Kurdish general has said that close to 1,000 suspected ISIS militants have surrendered to Kurdish forces near Kirkuk in the last few weeks. Most of the suspects fled among civilians who left Hawija, about 40 miles (64 kilometres) west of Kirkuk after Iraqi troops launched a military operation to retake the town of approximately 100,000 people from ISIS’ grasp last month.

The defections have been witnessed following an operation that has seen the capture of one of the last Daesh strongholds in the country. The general further said that some of the militants attempted to sneak into the camps with their families but were arrested seeing as the authorities have a list of names of Daesh members.

The freed people have been returned to some of the safe areas, but the humanitarian organizations have insisted that the restoration process is only going to work if the repatriation is voluntary.

SIS has been losing ground in Iraq since US-backed Iraqi forces captured the group’s stronghold of Mosul in July after a nine-month battle.

In August, ISIS was driven out of Tal Afar, a northwestern town captured by the terror group in June 2014.

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