Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Three Islamic State members were killed as they infiltrated toward the defense line on borders with Syria, the media service of the pro-government paramilitary troops said.
According to a statement by al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), Commander Abu Jinan al-Basri said “troops killed three IS members as they blew their booby-trapped vehicle, that they were using in Syria.”
“The members attempted approaching the defense line near borders to target PMFs, which control the Iraqi borders,” Basri added.
PMFs liberated, earlier today, several villages as Iraqi troops launched operations to liberate Al-Jazeera regions located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar provinces.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Upper Euphrates and al-Jazeera Combing Operations, said “army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] started a wide-scale operation to liberate al-Jazeera regions located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar.”
Joint troops managed to free several residential areas in Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk from Islamic State, which urged the militants to escape toward Al-Jazeera regions in those provinces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.