Iraqi forces hunt for Islamic State militants in Diyala

Paramilitary fighters and military vehicles are seen during a military operation to retake positions held by Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province, north of Baghdad January 25, 2015. Picture taken January 25, 2015. REUTERS

Diyala ( – A wide-scale military operation was launched Tuesday in Diyala to track down Islamic State remnants, the province’s police spokesman was quoted as saying.

A joint Iraqi force, backed by jet fighters, started a military operation to pursue remnants of the Islamic State group in seven villages on the border between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, Baghdad Today news website quoted Diyala police spokesman Col. Ghaleb al-Attia as saying in a statement.

“The operation is meant to put an end to the terrorist activities of IS cells in these vital areas,” the spokesman added.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

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