Paramilitary troops launch offensive to clear northeast of Diyala

Forces from al-Hashd al-Shaabi.

Diyala ( The paramilitary troops have announced launching an offensive in Naft Khana, northeast of Diyala, the media service said on Thursday.

“The operation is carried out from six main axes with support from the army jets, the statement said. “It targets eliminating Islamic State pockets as well as boosting security in the strategic region.”

Naft Khana is considered a pivotal region in Diyala for its strategic location, being near to main roads, in addition to being geographically-connected to Hamrin basin.

Attacks launched by Islamic State militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town.

IS holds pivotal regions that link between each of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, posing threats to the liberated regions.

The Iraqi government is urged to hasten with security operations to retake regions held by IS since 2014. However, the most attention is given to the battle in Mosul, Islamic State’s largest stronghold in Iraq.

Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units), an alliance of more than 60 mostly Shia militias, are recognized by the government as a national force under the Prime Minister’s command.

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