Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi troops destroyed on Thursday six terrorist hotbeds of Islamic State in Kirkuk governorate, a security spokesperson was quoted as saying.
“A force from the federal police started a military campaign from two axes to eliminate cells of Islamic State in Kirkuk, managing to destroy six of their terrorist hideouts,” Spokesman for the Iraqi Security Media Council Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool told Baghdad Today.
“The troops also seized a huge amount of explosives and ammunition, including an explosive belt, an RPG7 missile and a motorbike that was used by the terrorists for moving,” the spokesman added.
Kirkuk officials previously urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west of the province, as the region still has Islamic State members who escaped during liberation of Hawija to remote areas.
In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country. Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State occupied in 2014.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary troops, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.