Diyala (Iraqinews.com) – Four Islamic State militants were killed and injured Wednesday as an intensified aerial bombardment targeted the militant group’s hotbeds in Baqubah, the capital of Diyala province, a security official was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Basnews website on Wednesday, Awwad al-Rabei, the head of Abu Saida’s security committee, said, “An airstrike was launched Wednesday on Islamic State strongholds at al-Makhisa village, east of Abu Saida, leaving two IS militants killed and two others injured.”
“There are still Islamic State sleeper cells in different parts in Diyala,” Rabei said, warning that such cells pose a serious threat to the province’s security and stability.
Earlier this week, a joint force made up of the Iraqi army, police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) launched a wide-scale military operation, tracking down Islamic State remnants in the eastern part of Diyala.
In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence earlier in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.