Iraqi fighter jets have pounded the positions of the remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Iraq’s north-central province of Salahuddin, killing more than a dozen extremists there.
The media bureau of Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, in a statement released on Monday, announced that Iraqi F-16 fighter jets had targeted three militant hideouts on Abdul Aziz Island in the middle of the Tigris River, located in the west of al-Dour district in Salahuddin Province, leaving 14 Daesh terrorists dead.
The statement, cited by Arabic-language al-Forat news agency, added that the hideouts were used by terrorist elements to target security forces and citizens.
In a related development on Tuesday, a security source in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala announced the start of a large-scale military operation in the northeast of the province, saying that Iraqi government forces, backed by the air force, launched the operation 23 kilometers northeast of the provincial capital, Baquba.
The source said the operation was being carried out with the participation of Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, and on two main axes in the area that included seven villages and surrounding farms.
The source also stressed the difficulty of the operation due to the geographical complexity of the area.
Sleeper cells of Daesh are active in an area between the Iraqi provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala, launching attacks on government forces and civilians.
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast, and north of the Iraqi capital, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country.
In November 2016, the Iraqi parliament voted to integrate Hashd al-Sha’abi, which was formed shortly after the emergence of Daesh in Iraq in 2014, into the military.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.