ISIS “weakened” with the conclusion of “Heroes of Iraq - phase 4” operation

Kirkuk, 2 June 2020 - a military operation to eliminate militants in areas between Kirkuk and Salahudin provinces - Photo by Soran Mohammad

Ameer Khanaqini - Diyala

Sources within the participating forces in the operation “Heroes of Iraq - Phase 4,” emphasise that their operation has “immensely” weakened ISIS and their attacks will thus be reduced.

The operation in Khanaqin District in Diyala Province, which was overseen by Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kazimi, was concluded yesterday, 14 June 2020. Three suspected ISIS militants were killed and a number of the group’s hideouts destroyed.

Abu-Mustafa Ambagi, commander of 2nd Regiment of Iraqi Army, told KirkukNow: “In the north and west areas of Khanaqin [District], especially near the rivers Lawand and Sirwan, three ISIS terrorists were killed, and 13 ISIS hideouts were found and destroyed. Five IEDs were destroyed.”

Iraqi army, Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), Federal Police and PUK’s Counter-Terrorism were among the participating forces in the operation.

The operation will immensely weaken ISIS and reduce the number of their attacks

Ambagi stressed: “We’ve cleared a large area where ISIS was active. Especially around Khanaqin. The operation will immensely weaken ISIS and reduce the number of their attacks, because ISIS [militants] were active in the forests and on the banks of rivers Alwand and Sirwan near Khanaqin, Sheikh-Bawa area and the village of Islah near Jalawla.”

A number of attacks have been reported this year in the Khanaqin District. Many villagers were killed or wounded in such attacks, and there has been a lot of material damage as well.

Abu-Haydar Najjar, an officer of PMU’s 1st Brigade, told KirkukNow: “The area that was designated for us encompassed Naftkhana and Imamways; we concluded it [the operation] successfully, and we dismantled nine IEDs and destroyed four ISIS hideouts.”

A source within Peshmerga forces told KirkukNow that in the areas near where Peshmerga are stationed, PUK’s Counter-Terrorim units took part in the operation.

Another source within the Iraqi army told KirkukNow: “Within the whole operation, three ISIS militants were killed, and the entire designated area for the operation was cleared.”

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