We didn't have to wait long for the Islamic State's expected and what
is ultimately becoming their normal response of attacking a secondary target while Coalition Forces are engaged elsewhere. This time it was in city of Rutbah and was in response to last week's beginning Mosul Offensive. An Offensive led by U.S. Coalition Forces, The Kurdish Peshmerga, and Iraqi Forces to retake the city of Mosul which is considered a main Iraqi stronghold.
The Islamic State militants, seized and recaptured the city Rutbah. Included in the city's recapture according to military officials, is the Northern Districts and the centrally located, Local Government Offices. Rutbah is at a strategic junction, where the highway West of Baghdad forks towards the Syrian and Jordanian Borders. As has been typical of the militant group, ISIS launches a major assault where a past offensive had chased them out, when it comes under military attack or pressure elsewhere.
This latest attack came as Kurdish troops advancing towards Mosul from the East and Northeast claimed further gains against the Sunni extremist organization. ISIS attacked Rutbah, which Iraqi Security Forces had recaptured from them in May 2016, using car bombs and suicide bombers. The Iraqi Government sent reinforcements to back up the troops already fighting against ISIS another official said each.
The Amaq News Agency, ISIS news media outlet, claims that ISIS, has seized half of Rutbah already. Two days earlier, ISIS fighters carried out another diversionary attack in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.