Iraqi intelligence arrest two Islamic State jihadists in Kirkuk

A Shi’ite volunteer wearing a mask, who has joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), looks on during a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province, June 26, 2014.

Kirkuk ( – Iraqi military intelligence forces announced on Saturday that two Islamic State terrorists were arrested in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

“Acting on intelligence information, troops of the Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate caught two Islamic State terrorists in al-Qassem and June First districts in Kirkuk,” Iraqi TV channel Alsumaria TV quoted the directorate as saying in a press release.

“The pair were tasked with equipping hotbeds of the Islamic State terrorist group on the outskirts of Kirkuk,” the statement read.

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.

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 forces, 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.

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