Bomb attacks in Iraq targeted security forces Sunday. Three suicide bombings in the country’s Diyala province killed 26 Kurdish fighters, and a roadside bombing killed the police chief of the western Anbar province.
This week was one of the deadliest in Iraq since the Islamic State group began its offensive in June. Since Monday, 124 people have been killed by car bombs or suicide bombers, according to the Iraq Body Count, an organization dedicated to tracking civilian deaths in Iraq.
The bombings Sunday were the latest in a string of attacks in Iraq this weekend. Formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks that killed at least 45 people in Shiite-majority areas near Baghdad Saturday.
Kurdish Peshmerga force members in Qara Tappah, an ethnically mixed town in Diyala province, were killed Sunday when three suicide bombers attacked a security compound, Reuters reported. One bomber detonated an explosives vest at the gateway to the compound, and other two drove cars filled with explosives into it.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they were carried out by non-Iraqi jihadists, the Associated Press reported.
In a separate attack, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Sadak al-Dulaymi, the Anbar provincial police chief, was assassinated while traveling in a convoy north of the province’s capital Ramadi, where Iraqi security forces are attempting to oust Islamic State group militants. If ISIS seizes Ramadi, then it will control several key towns on a highway that leads west through Syria and into Jordan -- a major oil transit route.
Islamic State group militants have been trying to advance into Baghdad since June, but have so far not been able to send its fighters into the city to engage government forces. Military experts told AP this weekend that ISIS will not be able to take Baghdad because government troops and Shiite militias have encircled the city and are protecting the capital. It is therefore likely the group will continue to use suicide bombers in fighting there.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition launched more airstrikes Sunday, hitting Islamic State group convoys and fighting units outside Baghdad. Britain participated in these strikes. The U.K. also sent a “small specialist team” of soldiers to Iraq to train Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the use of the heavy machine guns it supplied to them last month, AP said.