Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Four members of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) were killed and wounded on Wednesday in an attack by Islamic State militants east and south of Tikrit, a security source has said.
The source told AlMada Press that the attack targeted PMU deployments in Tal Kasiba and Mutaibija, east and south of Tikrit. The attacks relied on heavy and light guns as well as motorbikes, killing two Hashd members and wounding two others.
According to the source, IS fighters have made a significant advance in al-Haddadiya crossroad, a network of highways linking the city with Kirkuk and Diyala.
Army fighter jets have started to bombard the group’s supply routes at those regions, and later strikes are expected in northern and eastern Tikrit, the source added.
Al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops launched on Tuesday a military operation to secure the roads linking Baghdad and Salahuddin with Mosul, Islamic State’s largest stronghold in Iraq, the half of which was retaken by security forces on the same day.
The extremist group has stepped up bloody attacks in Salahuddin and Baghdad in recent weeks, killing several security and PMU members, a development which observers believe is aimed at making up for losses in Mosul and to distract security forces.