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ISIS on the rise again

The #Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces* and the Iraqi Army launched a joint operation on May 12th against the ISIS remnants terrorising the remote area of Dawooda. This land is considered “disputed territory” between Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, & the latest campaign against #ISIS comes as a response to the recent violent incidents by extremist militants against the Kurdish population. Extremist militants are known to kidnap civilians to finance their forces. Last Wednesday, a Kurdish shepherd was released from a two-week kidnapping after his family paid $30,000 in ransom. The search continues for the missing Kurdish shepherds kidnapped for ransom by ISIS’ remaining cells.⁣

Despite the Western perception of stability, the Iraqi Kurdistan area has continued to be disputed territory between the population and ISIS remnants, quickly becoming the threat they once were.⁣

Just last December, the #Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces succeeded in recapturing a village recently taken by the Islamic State. Yet, despite their retreat, ISIS reportedly left booby traps with explosive devices inside households. Kurds, especially from the Iraqi area, have faced rejection & accusations while seeking asylum in Europe, given the perception that it is “now a safe country.” However, these & several more violent incidents in the area prove the risk Kurds continue to face in their homeland.⁣

Despite their past #trauma & hardships, many Kurd refugees have had difficulties validating their perilous journey to reach the EU and their claims for asylum. Besides the threat of another ISIS insurgency, Kurds face economic hardships, unemployment, and salary disputes. Last year, the government announced a pay cut of 21% for its more than 1.3 million public-sector employees. It then failed to pay for months due to a financial crisis exacerbated by the still ongoing pandemic.⁣

Kurds’ claims for #asylum should not be so blindly contested despite the rising threat of an ISIS resurgence in the region. The #EU should take responsibility for the Kurdish lives lost along the French coast & the Poland-Belarus border in recent months.

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