Iraq launches operation hunting for Islamic State in Nineveh islands

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Nineveh ( Iraqi army forces are launching a clearing operation against Islamic State militants in Nineveh, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday as efforts continue to eliminate remnant militants.

In a brief statement, the ministry said it launched an operation against Islamic State vestiges in “Jozor al-Makhlat” (islands). It noted that the offensive was launched based on intelligence information and with support from the United States-led international coalition.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over Islamic State militants in Iraq early December, marking and end of a military campaign launched in 2014 when the group declared a self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Abadi said in a recent speech that troops continue, however, to clear remaining militants at desert areas.

Nineveh contains Mosul, the city from which Islamic State’s supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of the group’s rule, naming Mosul as their capital. Iraqi forces regained control over Mosul early July after more than eight months of offensives.

Some security commentators fear that, even after it lost territorial control, IS will continue to pose a threat. The group did launch occasional attacks against civilians and security forces since the declaration of its defeat.


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