Two Islamic State hotbeds destroyed during military operation in Diyala

Paramilitary fighters and military vehicles are seen during a military operation to retake positions held by Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province, north of Baghdad January 25, 2015. REUTERS

Diyala ( – Two Islamic State hotbeds were destroyed Tuesday during a military operation at Hawi al-Azim area in northern Diyala, a military commander was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Alghad Press on Tuesday, Commander of Tigris Operations Lieutenant General Mazhar al-Ezzawi said, “Security forces destroyed two hideouts of Islamic State and detonated a booby-trapped vehicle during a military operation that was launched on Monday to cleanse the western parts of Hawi al-Azim area in northern Diyala from Islamic State remnants.”

“The Tigris Operations Command is determined to totally purge every inch in Diyala from Islamic State,” he added.

On Monday, Ezzawi said a wide-scale military operation was launched to track down Islamic State militants at Hawi al-Azim area in Diyala.

“Backed by Iraqi warplanes, joint troops from the Iraqi army, police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) launched the operation to track down Islamic State cells in the western parts of Hawi al-Azim area,” Ezzawi pointed out.

“The military operation was launched upon intelligence reports with the aim of cleansing Hawi al-Azim area of Islamic State cells and hideouts and restoring Diyala’s security and stability,” Ezzawi added.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

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