Erbil (IraqiNews.com) Kurdish security services have arrested around 1700 Islamic State militants among the displaced civilians at refugee camps, according to Karim Sinjari, Interior Minister of the Kurdistan region.
During a meeting on Sunday with a Kuwaiti media delegation in Erbil, Sinjari said, “despite the liberation of Mosul, the war against IS will last for lng due to presence of sleeper cells in the city, especially in the tunnels.”
“Military operations will start in Tal Afar town, west of Mosul, then Qaim in western Anbar and Hawija in western Kirkuk,” the minister added.
Each of Tal Afar, Hawija and Qaim are among the important strongholds still held by the group since 2014, when the militants occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.
Iraqi fighter jets reportedly dropped last month millions of leaflets in western Anbar to inform locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing.
Tal Afar has been set as the next target of operations after victory was declared in Mosul last month.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25000 militants were killed throughout the campaign.