Iraqi security forces have launched a large-scale clearing in the border areas between Kirkuk and Salahaddin provinces aimed at tracking down remnants of the Islamic State (IS) group.
The operation kicked off early on Sunday, as part of the eighth phase of Operation Will of Victory. Troops swept across Duz Khurmatu and the Hamrin Heights in Salahaddin towards volatile areas south and west of Kirkuk.
“The military operation is planned to continue for 72 hours, with the aim of rooting out remnants of IS,” Firas al-Zubaydi, a spokesman for the Rapid Response Forces stationed in Duz Khurmatu, told KirkukNow.
Al-Zubaydi said that the Rapid Response Force has undertaken the clearing of Hamrin and Al Zarka areas as well as Amerli. "
“During Operation Will of Victory 8, the Rapid Response Force will secure Bas Tamli and Al-Zanjili village from IS sleeper cells and will continues the clearing operation towards the Odhem dam and the agricultural areas around the dam as well,” he added.
A statement by the Iraqi Security Media Cell, confirmed that the eighth phase of Operation Will of Victory was launched on Sunday, December 29, 2019, along five axes, covering the provinces of Ninewa, Salahaddin, Kirkuk and Diyala.
Iraqi forces have been gearing up for operations, following a surge in militant activities which targeted security forces and oil facilities.
On Friday, December 27, several rockets hit the K1 military base in Kirkuk. A US civilian contractor was killed in the attack.