Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Federal Police forces will invade Islamic State’s havens in Salahuddin province within the coming days, a senior commander said Sunday.
Jaafar al-Battat, the service’s chief of staff, told Hona Baghdad satellite channel that “Federal Police forces have completed their mobilizations, awaiting orders from the supreme commander of the armed forces to move towards Shirqat”. He said no coordination is needed prior to that battle since it falls within the Federal Police’s axis of operations.
“We have concluded all preparations, and we will finish the enemy within the few next days,” Battat added, noting that there are between 300 and 400 militants in eastern Shirqat.
Islamic State has waged occasional attacks against civilians and security forces inside Salahuddin and at the province’s borders with Diyala over the past months coinciding with government operations that have, since October 2016, recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, and Tal Afar.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command has marked Kirkuk’s town of Hawija, an outstanding Islamic State bastion, as its next target.
Besides Shirqat and Hawija, Islamic State is also still holding the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim in western Anbar.
The Iraqi government, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, are hoping to mark an end to the self-proclaimed “caliphate” declared by IS in 2014.