Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Around 800 Islamic State militants turned in themselves to the Kurdish Peshmerga troops in Kirkuk, a paramilitary official said on Sunday.
Speaking to AlSumaria News, Jabbar al-Maamouri, leader with al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said “around 800 IS militants turned in themselves to Peshmerga deployed in Kirkuk after fleeing Hawija.”
“Thirty IS leaders, who were emirs of four of the group’s states, including Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin, were among those who extradited themselves,” Maamouri added.
Regarding destiny of the arrested militants, Maamouri described it as mysterious. “Peshmerga did not provide information about places to which the militants were transferred.”
Last week, Ahmed Khorsid, member of Hawija council, said Iraqi troops should launch operation to comb Hawija as well as villages of al-Dibs town, southwest of Kirkuk, and the northwest of the province. He warned that IS militants could be hiding at underground tunnels or remote regions in order to attack the troops again.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared, earlier this month, liberation of Hawija. Joint troops killed 385 IS members, including five snipers, as Hawija Operations Command announced accomplishing targets of the second phase of operations, which launched in late September.
557 IS militants were killed, while more than 100 villages and regions were liberated during the first phase, which launched on September 24th.
Having recaptured Hawija, Iraqi troops still have only western Anbar’s towns of Rawa and Qaim remaining under the militant’s control.