DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:00 P.M.) – ISIS released an 8-minute video on Sunday showing its best sharpshooters in action against the Iraqi Army in Kirkuk province just east of the Tigris River.
The footage, some of which can be traced several months back, depicted ISIS snipers picking away at Iraqi checkpoints, gun emplacements and outposts. In addition, the jihadist belligerents were shown posing for the camera and receiving instructions from an ISIS commander:
A similar ISIS propaganda video was also released from Raqqa not long ago.
ISIS controls over 100 isolated villages and towns in what has become known as the Hawija pocket, an almost exclusively Sunni Arab region northeast of Baghdad that was cutoff from the Islamic State mainland last year.
Since cutting off the last Islamic State supply line to Hawija on July 12 back in 2016, the Iraqi Army has almost entirely refrained from encroaching further upon the region, focusing instead on ISIS-held areas in Nineveh province (Mosul) and western Anbar.
Nevertheless, thousands of Iraqi government troops have been funnelled into the region in recent weeks, possibly looking to begin an offensive not long from now.