Iraq has shut down Internet service in five of its 19 provinces, according to Mashable.
In a letter sent to the country’s internet service providers, Iraq’s Ministry of Communications asked to “shut down the Internet totally” in five of the country’s provinces that have slipped from the control of Baghdad to either the extremist militant organization ISIS or the Kurds, including Saleh El Din, Kirkuk, Ninawa, Diyalah, and Anbar, as well as 11 other areas of the country. The Iraqi government also ordered to reinstate last week’s internet ban on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Skype, and Tango and Instagram will additionally be blocked.
A translation of the letter was published by Mohamad Najem, the advocacy and policy director of the Social Media Exchange, a Lebanon-based organization encouraging Internet freedom in the Middle East.
The shutdown comes just after last week’s social media blackout in the country, which aimed to stop insurgent group ISIS from plotting and spreading propaganda. With sights set on the capital city of Baghdad, the Sunni militant group ISIS has terrorized the country, taking over the second largest city in Iraq, reportedly looting the equivalent of over $420 million from the central bank, and seizing American-made Iraqi military equipment.