Kurdistan: ISIS desertions continue across Gwer-Makhmour front

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Multiple groups of Islamic State, or ISIS, fighters have surrendered to Peshmerga . Photo: Rudaw

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Multiple groups of Islamic State, or ISIS, fighters have surrendered to Peshmerga forces in recent days at varios points along the Gwer-Makhmour front some 60 km southwest of Erbil.

“Since Saturday night, at least 19 ISIS militants have surrendered to Peshmerga forces in two phases. Eight of them surrendered on Saturday and 11 of them surrendered on Sunday at dawn,” said  Qadir Qadir, a senior Peshmerga officer on the Gwer front, told Rudaw on Sunday. “One of those who surrendered claims to be a senior police officer,” Qadir added

Officials on Gwer front estimate that this year at least 100 ISIS militants have surrendered to Peshmerga forces.

“Those who have submitted themselves to the Peshmerga will be questioned and transferred to the Ministry of Peshmerga,” Qadir said

On Monday, a Peshmerga official said nine ISIS militants also surrendered on the Gwer-Makhmour front.

“At around 6am on Monday, nine ISIS militants surrendered to the Peshmerga in the village of Sultan Abdulla on the Gwer front,” said Saifulla Shamsaddin, a Peshmerga lieutenant. “The surrendered militants were in civilian clothes and crossed the river and reached Peshmerga front lines.”

One of the members of this ISIS group was questioned by Rudaw about the reasons for deserting.

“We fled for two reasons: fearing death and starvation,” the extremists told Rudaw.

“There is no trust within the organization [ISIS]. If they suspect a militant they will kill him right away.”

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