Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces on Thursday repelled an attempt by Islamic State members to take over the road between Baghdad and Mosul.
A security source told Alghad Press that the army’s Counter-Terrorism Service forces countered sneaking IS members at al-Zawia crossroad. The source said the militants were attempting to take over the area to cut the Baghdad-Mosul road.
“CTS forces have managed to exterminate the sneaking group completely, and destroyed three vehicles,” said the source.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command said Thursday that major offensives were launching to retake Islamic State last bastions in Salahuddin’s Shirqat and Kirkuk’s Hawija. Other offensives had launched earlier this week at the group’s holdouts in western Anbar’s borders with Syria.
Federal Police, Rapid Response and the pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are carrying out the attack, according to the command.
PMF media said its troops managed to take over four villages in the IS-held eastern side of Salahuddin’s Shirqat town, while Federal Police chief, Shaker Jawdat, said his troops recaptured three other villages after invading the town with tens of combat vehicles and troops.
Iraq hopes to eliminate Islamic State fighters who emerged in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”. So far, operations since October 2016 have managed to recapture Mosul, the group’s former capital, and the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul.