Four Islamic State militants arrested during security campaign in Kirkuk

Iraqi security forces arrest a suspected member of the Islamic State group

Kirkuk ( – Federal police forces in Iraq have arrested four members of Islamic State (IS) and destroyed three of their terrorist hotbeds during a security campaign in Kirkuk.

The Federal Police Command, according to Iraqi website Alghad Press, said, “Troops of the 5th and 6th divisions of the federal police, backed by Iraqi warplanes, launched a security campaign from three axes to eliminate IS gangs and maintain law on the outskirts of Kirkuk.”

“The troops managed to arrest four IS members and destroyed three of their hideouts during the operation,” the command said, adding that the operation will continue until purging the remaining areas from terrorism.

Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of Hawija to remote areas.

In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country. Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State occupied in 2014.

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 troops, 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.

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