Local media outlets reported that at least five Islamic State (IS) militants driving a pickup truck stormed the mosque of al-Rahman in the village of al-Haknah within the al-Aitha region of Shirqat district, Salah-al-Din province during evening prayers, on Sunday, September 2. One worshipper was killed and six others wounded in the attack. Witnesses reportedly stated that the insurgents threatened to kill the villagers if they did not help IS in the future, specifically with logistical support. Additional IS attacks are possible in the near-term, in the area which is one of the last IS stronghold.
Although Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi claimed victory over the Islamic State (IS) in December 2017, the group retains a degree of freedom of movement in parts of the country, particularly in northern and western Iraq. IS militants continue to carry out attacks, notably against security forces. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations and more proactive operations, with resulting transit delays.
Individuals in the area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.