At least eight ISIS fighters had been reportedly taking fighting positions in dense reeds near Iraq’s al-Rashad region, about 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk, in preparation for a surprise attack on local anti-ISIS tribesman. As the ISIS fighters were planning their attack they were counter-attacked by a herd of wild boars. Three of the terrorists were reported to have been killed on Sunday after the attack. Sheikh Anwar al-Assi, a chief of the local Ubaid tribe and head of the group of local tribesmen who took up arms after ISIS took control of the nearby town of Hawija, said that the militants likely disturbed the notoriously short-tempered animals.
The event was corroborated by local Kurdish fighters who have joined Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militias in attempting to oust ISIS from nearby Hawija. The jihadists’ mutilated bodies were reportedly discovered by refugees fleeing the violence that has beset the war-torn nation. An alliance consisting of Iraqi military, majority Shiite Muslim militias (called Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi), U.S.-led coalition forces and Kurdish units (known as Peshmerga) are seeking to drive ISIS out of Iraq, according to Brigadier Azad Jelal, the deputy head of the Kurdish intelligence service in Kirkuk.
“Three fighters from ISIS were near the Peshmerga checkpoint in al-Rashad. They met some feral boars and the boars killed the three fighters,” Jelal told The Telegraph.
“Some refugees saw the bodies on the edge of a farm when they were fleeing and they told us. A few days later ISIS started to kill pigs around the area,” he added.
The news first appeared on the local Iraqi news site Al-Sumeria, which quoted unidentified local sources, and later gained attention on social media as officials confirmed the event. While fatalities caused by wild boars are relatively uncommon in the region, the animals are known for their relentless, ferocious attacks that can result in death, according to a 2006 article titled “Death by attack from a wild boar” published in the Journal of Forensic Medicine.
“The boar has a typical method of attack wherein it steadily rushes forward, pointing the tusks towards the animal to be attacked and inflicts the injuries. It goes back, takes position and attacks the victim again. This repeated nature of attack continues till the victim is completely incapacitated due to multiple penetrating injuries, which can have a fatal consequence,” the authors wrote.
Sunday’s incident reportedly came after ISIS massacred at least 25 local civilians attempting to escape areas under the jihadists’ control. Pro-government forces are closing in on ISIS territory, which is down to less than seven percent of the nation from 45 percent in 2014, and has been largely reduced to the northwestern city of Mosul, where a months-long battle has been waged by the Iraqi military and its allies to defeat the jihadists. The militants still maintain small pockets of control in southern Kirkuk.
More to follow as the anti-ISIS hogs continue their support of pro-Iraqi forces in the region.