Friday, August 19, 2022

Baghdad

UPDATED: 15 IS militants killed as operation launches to clear Diyala-Salahuddin borders

 UPDATED: 15 IS militants killed as operation launches to clear Diyala-Salahuddin borders

Iraqi army forces. File photo.

Iraqi army forces. File photo.
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Fifteen Islamic State members were killed as Iraqi security forces, backed by paramilitary troops, launched Wednesday an operation to clear a border area between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces from Islamic State militants, military media reported.

The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said a military offensive was launched early Wednesday to clear Mutaibija region and surrounding areas. The statement said forces partaking in the onslaught included army and police troops from both provinces, as well as al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) and army air forces.

Shafaaq News quoted Jassem Jabbara, head of the security committee in Salahuddin province council, saying that 15 militants were killed while six vehicles belonging to the group were destroyed in the offensive.

Mutaibija has witnessed occasional attacks by Islamic State against government and paramilitary troops deployments since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and PMus, launched a major offensive to retake areas occupied by IS since 2014, most notably the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the group’s most important stronghold in the country.

Diyala-Salahuddin borders.

Observers have said Islamic State’s occasional attacks against security and civilians outside Mosul aimed at distracting security attention from the Mosul front. IS still holds a few areas in Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk, but the Iraqi government, employing most of its military power in the Mosul campaign, is expected to aim at those strongholds once the battle in Mosul realizes victory.

Iraqi generals say IS militants currently control less than seven percent of Iraqi territory.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq says violence in Iraq left 1115 people dead and wounded in March.

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