Iraqi troops approach Kirkuk preparing for major operation

Iraqi army forces.

Kirkuk ( Large numbers of Iraqi troops arrived to the outskirts of Kirkuk province preparing for a major operation against Islamic State vestiges, according to a commander.

Ali al-Husseini, a spokesperson of the Popular Mobilization Forces’ “northern axis”, said “large numbers of Federal Police and army forces arrived at the outskirts of Kirkuk over the past hours”, noting that “the purpose of those reinforcements is the launch of a wide-scale operation on the borders of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk to purge them of Islamic State remnants”.

He said the offensives in Kirkuk will be “drastically different from previous ones”, urging to engage the PMF in the effort.
Last Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered security operations in response to the recent kidnapping and execution of eight Iraqis by Islamic State militants in Kirkuk.
Iraq declared the end of Islamic State influence on a its territories late last year, but since then, the group launched several attacks against security and civilians, especially in Kirkuk.

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