Iraqi army raids killed ten Islamic State terrorists as the terror attacks continue
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
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The Iraqi military announced on Thursday that it had killed 10 “terrorist“ in two separate operations targetting hidden Islamic State positions in rural areas of Diyala and Nineveh provinces in the latest anti-terror campaign to root out suspected members of the group still lurking in various parts of the country.
In the first incident, a Diyala Operations Command unit “trapped terrorist elements inside a hideout and clashed with them in the area bordering Lake Hamrin,” an area where Islamic State sleeper cells have long taken refuge, said the Iraqi military communications center known as the Security Media Cell.
Located to the east of Lake Hamrin are the sprawling Hamrin Mountains, a rugged ridge located in Diyala province near the Iranian border and westward to the eastern banks of the Tigris River, straddling the borders of Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces. The area has long been a safe haven for extremist groups that maintain caves and tunnels there from which they have often planned attack on nearby villages and towns.
The military statement said that alleged terrorists then “tried to escape towards Lake Hamrin, where the army’s airstrikes hit them, killing seven.” The statement also noted that security forces destroyed “a hideout that contained foodstuffs, a motorcycle, 8 gasoline barrels, two gas canisters… and a boat was also destroyed in the lake itself.”
In a separate statement released later in the day, the military said security forces in Nineveh province “blew up a hideout considered a command center” of the Islamic State, killing three members inside and destroying various equipment used by the extremist group to carry out its attacks.”
This comes as the terrorist organization recently stepped up its attacks in the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin, and disputed Kirkuk, as well as Nineveh. These provinces contain rural areas from where, Kurdish officials claim, the Islamic State regroups and gathers strength for future activity.
On Wednesday, a roadside bomb exploded next to a passing military convoy chasing purported Islamic State sleeper agents in the Hamrin area, wounding six security forces members, local media reported. Diyala province intelligence chief Ali al-Sudani was reportedly one of the passengers but came out unscathed.
Terrorist attacks have also taken place in other parts of the country. On Wednesday, suspected Islamic State remnants attacked an outpost held by members of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias not far from the city of Babil province’s city of Hillah, wounding three fighters.
So far in 2020, members of the terrorist group have killed 170 civilians and security personnel in attacks across the country. Not counting the most recent campaign this week, a previous military statement reported that forces have carried out 1,060 security operations this year, killing 135 Islamic State fighters, destroying 279 hideouts and tunnels, as well as seizing and disposing of large numbers of explosives, rockets, and suicide vests.
KRG officials have repeatedly stressed the necessity of cooperation between the regional and national governments to ensure disputed areas experiencing a security vacuum are effectively protected against Islamic State militants.
On Monday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated the grave security risk the extremist group still poses to the country as a whole, saying, “ISIS is a serious threat to the Kurdistan Region and to Iraq.” “We are monitoring and assessing the situation closely in Diyala, Mosul and Makhmour where ISIS attacks have increased.”
Erbil and Baghdad have been working to normalize the security and political situations on the ground in the disputed territories. Although some statements by officials from both Baghdad and Erbil in mid to late 2018 appeared positive, most progress that had been made was derailed by turmoil in the capital after outgoing Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi stepped down in late November due to anti-government protests and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Kurdistan 24