Iraqi Army and Popular Committees Begin Operations to Liberate Baiji from ISIS
The battle for the strategic city of Baiji has been a back and forth fight between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)/popular committees and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), as both parties seek to control this oil-rich area of the Salahiddeen Governorate.
Following the volatile month of August in which ISIS reentered and recaptured many sites inside Baiji, the Iraqi Security Forces and popular committees – led by Asa’ib Ahul Al-Haqq and Hashd Al-Sha’abi – launched their latest offensive to recapture their lost territory and to weaken the terrorist group’s influence over the town of Al-Siniyah.
For the terrorist group, their lifeline in Baiji derives from their influence in the nearby town of Al-Siniyah, which they have controlled since their offensive in mid-2014; if it remains under their control, they can continue to harass the Iraqi Security Forces for control of this oil rich city in central Iraq.
Following the offensive’s announcement by the Iraqi Minister of Defense, the Iraqi Security Forces and popular committees stormed the Al-Tamim Neighborhood in Baiji, capturing it from the terrorist group after killing 19 enemy combatants.
Overlooking the city of Baiji, the Makhoul Mountains in central Iraq have become the target for the Iraqi Air Force, as they continue to pound away at ISIS’ positions in this mountainous area.
Elsewhere, the Iraqi Security Forces killed two commanders from ISIS at the town of Al-Khalidiyah: these two field commanders were identified as “Abu Tamaam Al-Sa’oudi (Saudi) and Abu Al-Dhanoun Al-Muslawi.