Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have thwarted an attack by Islamic State militants against southeast of Mosul, a military official said.
“Four armed groups of IS attacked on Tuesday evening an armed attack against Hushter and al-Khattab regions in Qarraj town in southeast of Mosul,” Brig. Gen. Wael al-Bahadli, of the army’s third brigade, told Anadolu Agency.
The militants, according to Bahadli, “clashed with deployed troops for 40 minutes, before the Iraqi forces managed to defeat them.”
“The army killed nine militants and destroyed an armored vehicle and three others laden with weapons,” he added.
“The militant group’s target was to control the road linking between Makhmur region, southeast of Mosul with Kirkuk desert, in order to move freely in this region,” Bahadli said.
Iraqi army troops, according to him “started a wide-scale security campaign at Hushter and Khattab to comb them of any infiltrators.”
Earlier on the day, Shafaq News website quoted a source at the districts of al-Matahen, al-Yarmouk, al- Tenek and al-Yabsat in order to search for criminals wanted on terror charges.
Despite declaring victory over Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former bastion in Iraq, observers say IS terrorists are believed to constitute a security threat even after its defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared, in July, victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign.
The war against IS has so far displaced at least five million people. Thousands others fled towards neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries, since IS emerged to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.