Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Two Islamic State members were killed as they attempted infiltration toward security checkpoints, north of Tikrit, according to the pro-government paramilitary troops.
“The 99th brigade killed two IS members, who attempted sneaking toward troops in Jazeerat al-Siniyah region,” the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said.
“There is shootout between the two sides,” it added.
Iraqi Interior Minister said that the military presence of IS is over after the liberation of Rawa in western Anbar.
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.
The war against IS has displaced nearly five million people, with tens of thousands of civilians and militants killed since the launch of the offensives to recapture occupied cities.
The last IS bastion of Rawa in western Anbar was freed on Friday.
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.
Operations were launched, late October, to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns. Other operations were launched in September to free both Hawija town in Kirkuk and eastern Shirqat town in Salahuddin. All have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”