Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) – The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced on Monday that security forces had arrested 23 members of Islamic State, including a senior leader, in Mosul city.
“Nineveh police forces arrested 23 Islamic State fighters, including a senior commander who was responsible for collecting Zakat from residents in southern Mosul,” Iraqi website Baghdad Today quoted spokesman for the interior ministry Maj. Gen. Saad Maan as saying in a press statement.
“The terrorists were apprehended in al-Quds district in Mosul’s eastern side,” added the spokesman.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced last July liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Despite the group’s crushing defeat at its main havens across Iraq, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks against troops with security reports warning that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.