Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State members have returned back to some regions on the borders between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, a security source said on Thursday.
Speaking to AlSumaria News, the source said, “based on available information, the IS cells were watched in some regions at Mutaibija basin on the borders between Diyala and Salahuddin, in the wake of military operation launched few days ago to follow the militants.”
Islamic State’s presence in Mutaibija “will not end without controlling the region. Otherwise, the cells will impose threats to both Diyala and Salahuddin,” the source, who preferred anonymity, added.
Mutaibija has complicated terrain, with numerous hills that serve as a good hideout for militants.
Earlier this week, the Iraqi joint forces, backed by the army jets, carried out a wide-scale military operation to purge regions located between Diyala and Salahuddin provinces.
Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, in December, full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.