BAGHDAD- Rebels are massing near the Iraqi town of Qara Tappa, 122 km north of Baghdad, local officials said, in an apparent bid to broaden their front with Kurdish peshmerga fighters.
The Takfiri militants have made a dramatic push through the north to a position near Arbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
The movement around Qara Tappa suggests they are getting more confident and seeking to grab more territory closer to the capital after stalling in that region.
Rebels have also been using tunnels built by Saddam Hussein in the 1990s to secretly move fighters, weapons and supplies from strongholds in western Iraq to towns just south of Baghdad.
The group, made up of foreign fighters and disgruntled Iraqis have threatened to march on Baghdad, part of its ambition to redraw the map of the Middle East and impose its radical version of Islam.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.