Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Eight Islamic State militants were killed by paramilitary forces in southwestern Kirkuk on Tuesday, a security source in the province was quoted saying.
The eight militants were killed in a “preemptive operation” by the Popular Mobilization Forces at Qasabat Bashir region, according to Baghdad Today.
According to the source, those killed included the group’s chief area commander for southwestern Kirkuk.
The source said the encounter left some PMF fighters dead, too, but did not give an exact toll.
Iraqi forces declared the recapture of Hawija, Islamic State’s haven in Kirkuk, early October. The group had executed hundreds of civilians there for attempting to escape the town and for collaborating with security forces. The situation had forced thousands to flee to refugee camps.
Iraqi forces have recently recaptured the town of Rawa, on Anbar’s borders with Syria, effectively ending Islamic State’s three-year occupation of Iraqi territories which began in 2014 with a proclamation of a self-styled “caliphate”.
The group is also nearing defeat in Syria to U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Russia-backed Syrian government troops.