Rabu , 11 Oktober 2017, 19:01 WIB

Hundreds of suspected IS militants surrender in Iraq

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Reuters
Milisi ISIS
Milisi ISIS

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BAGHDAD -- Hundreds of suspected Islamic State militants surrendered last week to Kurdish authorities after the jihadist group was driven out of its last stronghold in northern Iraq, a Kurdish security official said on Tuesday.

The suspects were part of a group of men who fled toward Kurdish-held lines when Iraqi government forces captured the Islamic State base in Hawija, the official told Reuters, asking not to be identified.

The report of the Sunni Muslim militants fleeing, rather than fighting to the finish as in previous battles, suggested their morale may be crumbling, according to Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based expert on Islamic State affairs.

"They no longer seem to believe in the cause," Hashimi, who met some of those who surrendered in the Dibis camp near Kirkuk, told Reuters.

He said they had fled to the Kurdish-held region to avoid summary executions at the hands of vengeful Sunni Arab tribesmen and Iranian-trained and armed Shi'ite Muslim paramilitaries who assisted the Iraqi army's offensive on Hawija.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio recording two weeks ago that indicated he was alive, after several reports he had been killed. He urged his followers to keep up the fight despite setbacks in Iraq and Syria.

"Approximately 1,000 men surrendered over the last week," said the security official in Erbil, the northern Iraqi base of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

They handed themselves in to Kurdish Peshmerga forces near the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, east of Hawija, he said.

Sumber : Antara

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