Six Islamic State members killed in operation in Kirkuk

Islamic State militants.

Kirkuk ( Iraqi joint troops have killed six Islamic State members in a security operation in Kirkuk, a commander said.

In a statement on Thursday, Maj. Gen. Ali Fadel Umran, commander of Kirkuk Operations, said “a security operation carried out by Iraqi army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] to follow on Islamic State militants in Abbassi region, west of Kirkuk left six members killed.”

The Joint Operations Command announced in October the liberation of each of Hawija, Riyad and al-Rashad. Over 1,300 members were killed during offensives to free Hawija, while over 800 members were killed during the second phase of operations.

On Monday, Umran said two IS members were killed, while eight others were arrested in an operation launched to follow IS remnants who escaped toward north of Hawija, toward al-Zab region.

A government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition has been fighting, since October 2016, the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul.

The offensive on Hawija began on 21 September and has involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces.

The town fell to IS in June 2014, when the jihadist group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a “caliphate”.

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