Militant infighting leaves 17 dead in Iraq's Kirkuk while ISIS captures border crossing
At least 17 militants were killing in infighting in Iraq's Kirkuk province, according to Agence France Presse.
Sources told AFP Saturday that infighting between the jihadist Islamic State of the Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandiyah Order (JRTN) left at least 17 of the Sunni militants from both groups dead in the town of Hawija.
It is not perfectly clear what led to the infighting, but one security official, as reported by AFP, said that JRTN had refused to hand over their weapons to ISIS and pledge their allegiance to the latter force as well. Yet, according to other witnesses who spoke with AFP, the two sides began fighting over who would control multiple fuel tankers located in the area.
ISIS has captured worldwide media audiences over the past weeks after the jihadist group took over the city of Mosul and Iraq's main oil refinery within days. The group, which operates in both Iraq and Syria, was disowned by al-Qaeda in the latter country earlier this year.
Related reports from Saturday also confirm that ISIS captured the Al Qaim border crossing, which is one of three crossings on the Iraq-Syria border, according to Reuters. The successful capture of the crossing may allow Syrian and Iraq ISIS-linked fighters better coordinate their activities across borders.