Isis’s current terror tactic is to burn farmland and crops in Iraq, to target food supplies and food security, as well as carrying out extortion and murder on local farmers and their families, warned Iraq’s ministry of trade.
For several days the terrorist group has set fire to wheat and barley farms in Nineveh, Kirkuk, Diyala and Saladin, the territories that Isis used to control before they were driven out in 2017.
Ahmad Alzaidi, a media activist from Mosul, said to 7Dnews, "Armed Isis fighters burned the Ibrahimia village east of Mosul, near Tal Al- Rumman, which was attacked by the terrorist group a few days earlier, when a family of seven was killed, and they returned to the village that residents had fled after the attack."
However, Isis took advantage of the security vacuum south of Mosul, and had attacked the village, which led to the death of seven individuals from one family, only to return later and burn the houses of the villagers who had already fled.
Isis fighters returned to take revenge after one of the fighters was injured during one of their attacks on the village, and murdered an entire family, including women, said Alzaidi.
He said: "the members of Isis fled to an unknown location before the security forces arrived at the area of the incident."
Alzaidi noted that the security situation in the areas west of Makhmur, the roads leading to Kirkuk and Erbil, are witnessing a revival of Isis, while the terrorist group is also active in areas south of Mosul, towards the road that leads to Baghdad. He said he was fearful of returning to the bad conditions inflicted by Isis five years ago.
The leadership of the popular mobilization forces in Nineveh held the local authority responsible for not taking the information about the terrorists provided by them seriously, and not protecting the population sufficiently.
The government is to blame
Isis also set fire to a farm in one of the villages in the province of Diyala, and to multiple agricultural domains in the villages in the western part of Diyala.
On Thursday, May 16th, Isis burned Kurdish villages in the area between Erbil and Baghdad, which currently belongs to the province of Diyala.
The head of the Methra organization for Yarsan cultural and development, Rajab KaKai said: "armed Isis fighters burned the produce of the villages, and the damages are estimated to be a considerable acreage, where the residents were able to put down the fire, and it is worth noting that the fire started from the eastern side that is facing Iran. This is the second fire that started in that area. It was preceded by another fire, which was bigger and which was estimated to have destroyed a lot of acreage.”
He confirmed that: "burning the produce before harvesting is a dangerous sign in villages, and the crimes take place right before the eyes of the federal police. We hold the government responsible as it knows that Isis is becoming active in many areas such as in south Daquq in Kirkuk, Makhmur in Nineveh and Khanaqin in Diyala, and there are those who call the farmers in the name of Isis and demand them to pay Jizya, a tax, for what is called the state of Khalifa, and if they do not pay the Jizya, they will burn their produce."
He warned that: "they plan to target minorities in those areas, especially since the crimes are committed right before the federal Popular Mobilization Forces."
On heightened alert
On Saturday May 18th, Isis burned agricultural farms south west of Kirkuk, which is located between Erbil and Baghdad.
According to eyewitnesses, the members of the terrorist organization burned wheat and barley farms towards Ryadh, near Melh Airport, south-west of Kirkuk, which led to damages to the produce, but without any human losses.
The police of Kirkuk announced on Saturday May 18th the heightened situation in Dibis and Altun Kupri.
According to the 7Dnews correspondent from Kirkuk, "Kirkuk police entered a heightened alert situation in Dibis and Altun Kupri to ensure the safety of the citizens from the movements of the terrorist organization, Isis and burning the farmers’ lands," adding that, "this alert is to prevent Isis from repeating its crimes, like the ones in Makhmur, of burning the farmers’ lands."
And a fire broke out in a farm in Najaf, and the civil defense headquarters announced Saturday May 18th that every member of its squad was fighting the fire in the farm in Najaf, and they were preventing its spread to the agricultural field.
The statement added that, "25 dunums of wheat were saved, in addition to a 200-million-dinar harvest machine that belongs to the rice research department in Al-Manathera."
Targeting food security
The ministry of trade has accused Isis of causing the fires that took place, considering it a terrorist action to target the country's food security.
Through a report by the minister of trade, Mohammed Hashim Alani, the ministry of trade, the ministry of interior and the joint command operations demanded tracking the terrorist group, in order to protect the property of the farmers and securing their lands and safety.
They also rejected the attempt of the terrorist gangs to provoke them, and stressed the need of intervention by the joint command operations in Nineveh, and the security forces under its command, to prevent such criminal incidents that target both the Iraqi citizen and the country's security.