Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) Iraqi troops killed eight terrorists and destroyed four Islamic State hotbeds during a military operation to pursuit IS militants in a border area between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, a municipal official said.
In an exclusive interview to Baghdad Today on Sunday, Sadeq al-Husseini, the head of Diyala council’s security committee, said, “Joint troops from the Tigris Operations Command, al-Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi Air Force killed eight terrorists and destroyed four IS hideouts at Mteibijah area between the provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala.”
“The troops also dismantled 24 bombs during the purging operation at Mteibijah area,” Husseini said, adding that an Islamic State camp and five armored vehicles used by the militant group were also destroyed at Albu Jum’ah village.
A military operation was launched earlier on Saturday to hunt down remnants of Islamic State at Mteibijah area in Iraq, the Iraqi military said.
Backed by paramilitary al-Hashd al-Shaabi, the troops advanced from three directions to clear Mteibijah area, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a brief statement.
Dozens of IS militants fled their former bases in Salahuddin province and Hawijah area in west of Kirkuk after the Iraqi forces cleared these areas from the extremist militants during anti-IS offensives in the past few months.
Last week, 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.
In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad on Saturday, December 9, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”
“Our battle against the enemy, who wanted to destroy our civilization, is over. Thus, we gained victory through our unity and determination that made us defeat IS in short time,” he said.
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.