Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq’s army command said Thursday it was coordinating with the United States-led coalition to eliminate the remaining Islamic State militants in desert areas.
Nineveh Operations commander, Najm al-Jubouri, said in a statement, quoted by Baghdad Today, that the command “has started to coordinate with friendly troops in the international coalition in order to eliminate some sneaking Daesh (Islamic State) elements in al-Jazirah region and southern Mosul”.
Al-Jazirah desert falls between the Nineveh and Anbar provinces. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who declared final victory over the Islamic State in Iraq early December, said in a recent speech that forces were still chasing IS remnants in that region.
A U.S.-led coalition has been backing Iraqi military operations against the Islamic State since the groupm declared a self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Iraqi commanders and officials have regularly reiterated that the coalition’s contribution to the war against IS had been limited to aerial backup with no ground presence.
Meanwhile, Iraqi army forces started deploying in the western part of Mosul, replacing Federal Police forces, a source at the police 20th division told Alghad Press. The Federal Police command had recently declared handing over security in the western side of Mosul to the army.