Diyala (Iraqinews.com) Four Islamic State militants were killed in various security campaigns in Diyala over the past 24 hours, a military commander said.
“Iraqi troops, backed by al-Hashd al-Shaabi, carried out various surprise security campaigns, targeting Islamic State in Baqubah city in Diyala, leaving four militants killed,” Commander of Tigris Operations Maj. Gen. Mazhar al-Azzawi told Alghad Press on Monday.
The security campaigns were launched after receiving accurate intelligence information on the location of the IS terrorists, he added.
Earlier in the day, a lawmaker announced that one of the earliest members of al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed in Diyala.
“A joint security team managed to kill Ali Mohamed Sahi, who belonged to the first generation of al-Qaeda leaders in Diyala, during a special operation south of Beldruz (30 km east of Baqubah),” MP Furat al-Tamimi told Alsumaria News.
Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad on Saturday, December 9, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”
“Our battle against the enemy, who wanted to destroy our civilization, is over. Thus, we gained victory through our unity and determination that made us defeat IS in short time,” he said.
Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.
Despite the victory over IS in Iraq, observers say the militant groupS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.