Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – Fifteen Islamic State militants were killed during a security campaign on the Iraqi-Syrian border, a police spokesman said.
“Acting upon intelligence reports, Federal Police killed 15 Islamic State militants while moving on the border between Iraq and Syria,” Spokesman for the Interior Ministry Brigadier General Saad Maan told Mawazin News.
“The security operation was launched after tracking down the Islamic State cell for a few days,” he said, adding that the troops seized medium arms and explosive belts.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq earlier in November 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 paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul.
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.