Kirkuk (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi troops raided on Tuesday a number of tunnels and hotbeds that were used for storing Islamic State (IS) arms in oil-rich Kirkuk.
“Iraqi police and the 11th brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) launched a military operation to target Islamic State dens in several villages of Hawija district, southwest of Kikruk,” Alghad Press quoted al-Hashd al-Shaabi as saying in a statement.
“The joint forces managed to seize a number of tunnels and hideouts that were used by IS militants for storing their weapons and ammunition,” the statement read.
“The operation was launched after receiving information about the presence of IS fighters in several villages of Hawija,” concluded the statement.
In October, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.
The town had fallen to IS in June 2014, when the militant group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a self-styled “caliphate”.
There, Islamic State’s reign forced thousands to flee to refugee camps, while hundreds had been executed by the group for attempting to escape the area or contacting security forces.
The offensive on Hawija involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces.