Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – Saraya Al-Salam brigade affiliated with Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Tuesday that its fighters killed 13 Islamic State militants during a military operation between Anbar and Salahuddin provinces.
“A wide-scale military operation dubbed the Great Badr was launched in cooperation with the Iraqi army to eliminate Islamic State militants in different areas between Anbar and Salahuddin provinces,” Iraqi website Baghdad Today quoted the pro-Sadr brigade as saying in a statement.
“Thirteen Islamic State militants were killed as a result of the operation,” the statement read.
The operation comes one day after four fighters of Saraya Al-Salam were killed in clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province.
Last December, Sadr ordered his fighters to hand state-issued weapons back to the government following the country’s defeat of the Islamic State group.
Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam fighters took up arms against the extremist group in 2014 after the fall of Mosul and are officially part of the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi.
Sadr called on his fighters to also hand over parts of the territory they control to Iraq’s security forces, however, he stressed that his fighters would remain present as protectors of a holy Shiite shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad.