Iraqi security forces begin new anti-ISIS operation in Diyala governorate


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SULAIMANI — Iraq's Security Media Cell said that the fourth phase of Operation “Heroes of Iraq” began on Saturday (July 11), which is focused on combating Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Diyala governorate.

According to a press statement, the new phase was ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who was on hand in Diyala for the start of operations.

He also visited the Mandili border crossing in Khanaqin district as part of an effort to exert state control over customs procedures. On Friday, Iraq’s Rapid Response Forces took control of the al-Munthiriya crossing.

The operation command forces in Diyala, Saladin, and Samara, two commando brigades from the Border Guard Forces, the Counterterrorism Forces, the Federal Police, the Popular Mobilization Forces, and Sulaimani’s Counterterrorism forces are all participating in the operation.

The statement added that support has been provided by the Iraqi Air Force and army aircraft, along with planes belonging to the International Coalition.

Later on Saturday, the Security Media Cell announced that three ISIS militants had been killed and fifteen hideouts were destroyed so far during the first day. A wanted ISIS militant was arrested during the operation and a number of mortars and weapons seized.

It added that the operation “cleansed” 27 villages in the governorate of ISIS presence.

The first phase of the operation took place in Anbar governorate on February 12 and 13 with later phases in the areas north of Baghdad.

ISIS militants have stepped up their attacks since the beginning of the year, in particular in Diyala, Saladin, Kirkuk, and Anbar governorates.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 6:59 p.m. EBL