Diyala (IraqiNews.com) A local official in Diyala declared on Tuesday the end of a siege imposed by Islamic State snipers on a village at the borders with Salahuddin.
Mayor of al-Khales, Udai al-Khadran, told Alsumaria News that “joint security troops, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces, have managed to end a siege imposed by IS snipers on Mubarak al-Farhan village on the borders between Diyala and Salahuddin…which lasted for eight consecutive days”.
The end of the siege came after forces cleared the mountains surrounding the village, where the militants deployed to target farmers bound to their farmlands.
Mubarak al-Farhan is one of the villages recaptured by Iraqi security during the campaign to eliminate Islamic State’s self-styled “caliphate”. It falls within the administrative borders of Salahuddin province, and is located very close to the Mutaibija Basin, a longtime hotbed for Islamic State militants.
Thousands of Islamic State militants and Iraqi civilians were killed since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S-led coalition, launched an offensive to clear IS-held regions in 2016.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State earlier this month, but many warn that the group still poses a security threat with sleeper cells. Iraqi security forces continue to clear recaptured areas from militants’ cells, while militants carry out occasional attacks on civilians and security troops.