The Daesh terrorist group has continued to cause trouble for the Iraqi government with a recent spate of kidnappings.
Late last year, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced that Daesh’s military presence in Iraq had been all but destroyed following a destructive three-year conflict.
The notorious terrorist group, however, appears to maintain a limited — albeit effective — presence in the war-weary country.
After having recently abducted a handful of Iraqi soldiers near the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway, Daesh is now offering to release them — in exchange for several of its detained female members.
Relatives of the abducted soldiers, meanwhile, are reportedly urging the government to make the swap.
After releasing video footage of the abducted soldiers, Daesh began demanding the release of female group members detained earlier by Iraqi security forces.
While local media have reported that the detained female Daesh members have already been released, Iraq’s Defence Ministry has denied these claims.
According to reports in the local media, the government is now “negotiating” with Daesh with a view to carrying out a prisoner exchange.
Military officials, however, deny these reports, saying fresh operations have been launched against the terrorist group while security along the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway has been ramped up.
Despite having suffered a string of crushing military setbacks, Daesh has nevertheless continued to stage attacks in Kirkuk and Iraq’s northern Diyala province.