Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kurdish Peshmerga forces have handed over 96 Islamic State militants arrested in Nineveh to Iraqi government forces, a senior government official said Thursday.
Alghad Press quoted the source saying the Peshmerga arrested the militants during their participation in battles to recapture the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, which the government declared as IS-free late August. They were caught en route to Turkey, said the official.
The Counter-Terrorism Service will transfer the militants to Baghdad to hand them over to judicial authorities.
Earlier reports had told of a number of Islamic State militants who turned in themselves to security forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in his weekly press briefing on Wednesday that his government maintains a high level of coordination with Kurdish authorities regarding the handing over of Islamic State captives.
So far, Iraqi, U.S.-backed, military operations against IS since 2014 have managed to free the city of Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, and later Tal Afar, west of Mosul, the group’s last stronghold in Nineveh province. The Iraqi military command had said that Islamic State had lost more than 250 members since the launch of operations to retake Tal Afar.