At approximately 23:15 on 12 February, IS gunmen ambushed a civilian vehicle near Bahar Taza village, located southwest of Khanaqin city. The insurgents shot and killed two civilians, initially identified as a father and son from the Kakai minority. Later reporting identified one of the fatalities as an off-duty Peshmerga member who was employed as a guard at the Khanaqin KDP office. The gunmen using sniper fire subsequently shot and wounded as many as six additional civilians attempting to evacuate the casualties. Conflicting accounts claimed one of the two fatalities involved responding civilians.
Shortly afterwards, an IED detonated against an Iraqi Army commando patrol responding to the incident in a Humvee. Between 4-5 soldiers were wounded based on conflicting reports. Limited reporting from a Peshmerga source claimed one soldier subsequently died of his wounds. ISF subsequently launched an operation in surrounding areas continuing through the following morning, with no significant results reported.
Complex and coordinated attacks along these lines were commonly seen in the historically restive Khanaqin district and other hotspots of northern and eastern Diyala province in late 2019. A relative lull in IS activity levels in Diyala province in January concluded as that month ended. Headlining incidents included an attack involving a fake checkpoint in the adjacent Kifri district of northern Diyala province on the night of 30 January.
For further information and analysis read our full report.