Diyala (IraqiNews.com) A local official from Diyala province has said Islamic State members left their hideouts in the region on borders with Salahuddin province and are likely drawing plans.
“Islamic State has been silent in Mutaibija. Most of the militants were hiding at underground rest houses and hideouts. The situation has been very calm for weeks,” Mohamed Daifan al-Ebeidi, head of Udhaim provincial council, told AlSumaria News on Monday.
“The situation in Mutaibija changed over the past 24 hours. There has been an activity that started to show up as IS members began getting out of their underground hideouts,” he said. “Maybe the group tries to do something at any time, which urged the security forces to be on high alert.”
“It’s time to end Islamic State’s presence in Mutaibija, which is a security challenge not for Diyala only but Salahuddin and Kirkuk also,” he added.
Earlier this month, Jabbar al-Maamouri, a senior commander at the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), told Alsumaria News that the elite of five IS so-called “wilayas” (provinces) remain in hiding at Mutaibija.
Mutaibija has complicated terrain, with numerous hills that serve as a good hideout for militants. Occasional attacks have been witnessed there by Islamic State against government and paramilitary troops deployments since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and PMUs, launched a major offensive to retake areas occupied by IS since 2014.