Tens of Islamic State members killed in operations, north of Kirkuk

Islamic State militants. File photo.

Kirkuk ( Tens of Islamic State members were killed during operations in north of Kirkuk, a commander said.

“Security troops carried out an operation in north of Hawija, which left tens of militants killed,” Maj. Gen. Ali Fadel Mahran, commander of Kirkuk Operations Command, said in a statement on Sunday.

“Rest houses of IS and suicide belts were also destroyed during the operations,” he added.

Operations were launched in late September to liberate Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, before Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced freeing the town in October.

In late October, operations were launched to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns, west of Anbar. Both have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.

Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, announced on Friday, achieving “great victory” in Rawa, after the War Media Cell said operations launched on the dawn of Friday for the “liberation of Rawa”.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, earlier this month, liberation of Qaim, in west of Anbar, in record time. Troops also freed Ebeidi and Krabla regions in western Anbar.

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 war against IS has so far displaced at least five million people. Thousands of others fled toward neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries, since IS emerged to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.

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