Iraqi forces attack IS remnants in desert region

 07 Feb 2018 - 12:57

Iraqi forces attack IS remnants in desert region
Armored vehicles belonging to Iraqi forces are being dispatched to highlands in Kirkuk border, eastern Saladin province to launch an operation against Daesh terrorists in Saladin, Iraq on February 07, 2018. (Ali Mukarrem Garip / Anadolu Agency)


Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq: Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition began a major operation Wednesday against Islamic State (IS) group jihadists hiding out in a northeastern desert region, the military said. 

The army, rapid intervention forces and paramilitaries, in coordination with Kurdish fighters and with Iraqi and coalition air cover, launched the operation east of Tuz Khurmatu "to chase away IS remnants," said Iraq's Security Information Centre.

Iraqi forces retook several villages and stormed an IS camp, according to the rapid intervention forces.

The operation met no initial resistance, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

Iraq declared victory against IS in December, more than three years after the extremist group seized a third of its territory and swathes of neighbouring Syria, declaring a "caliphate" ruling over millions of people.

Jihadists are still active, however, and there have been several attacks against government forces in the Khurmatu region.

Authorities have blamed not just IS but also pro-independence Kurds accused of seeking revenge for the takeover by government forces of Kirkuk province, in particular the expulsion of many Kurds from the Tuz Khurmatu area.

The town is home to a mixed Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen population. It was the scene of deadly violence in mid-October when Iraqi forces retook it in response to a Kurdish independence referendum.

Related News

arrow Read More
Palestinian killed after wounding Israeli guard at West Bank settlement - military

 07 Feb 2018 - 8:57

The civilian guard, stationed at the Karmei Tzur settlement north of the city of Hebron, was slightly wounded. Another security guard shot and killed the attacker, the military said in a statement.

arrow Read More
Men with guns still rule in Libya as return to "ghost town" blocked

 06 Feb 2018 - 18:21

More than six years after they were forced to leave their homes in the civil war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, tens of thousands of residents of the Libyan ghost city of Tawergha were finally meant to start going home last week. It never happened.

arrow Read More
Syria's Eastern Ghouta, under siege since 2013

 27 Dec 2017 - 15:00

Syria's ruined rebel holdout region of Eastern Ghouta, from where urgent UN-demanded medical evacuations started on Wednesday, has been under siege for four years, suffering attacks and malnutrition.