Seven IS militants killed in security operations in Iraq’s Salahuddin

A Shi’ite volunteer wearing a mask, who has joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), looks on during a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province, June 26, 2014.

Salahuddin ( – The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in cooperation with security forces launched wide-scale security operations to purge Salahuddin province from terrorist cells.

The operations resulted in killing four Islamic State members inside a tunnel and destroying three terrorist hotbeds, a statement published on the PMF website said.

The troops also shot a suicide bomber dead while two others blew themselves up in Tirkit Island, the statement added.

Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.

PMF won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.

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