Iraqi Security Forces renew campaign against ISIS in Diyala


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SULAIMANI — Iraq’s Joint Operations Command announced on Sunday (July 26) the launch of a new push in Diyala province as a part of the fourth phase of “Operation Heroes of Iraq.”

The fourth phase was officially launched on July 11, according to the Security Media Cell.

The renewed action is aimed at rooting out Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells in the province to create a safe environment to allow displaced families to return to their homes, Ministry of Defense Spokesperson Major General Yehia Rasool said in a tweet.

The operation will proceed along three axes, Rasool added, led respectively by the Iraqi Army’s Seventh Brigade and Diyala Operations Command, the Diyala and federal police and Iraq’s Rapid Reaction Force, and sections of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

The first phase of the operation took place in Anbar governorate in February with later phases in areas north of Baghdad and in Saladin, Kirkuk, and Diyala governorates.

ISIS militants have stepped up their attacks since the beginning of the year, causing concern that the militant group was successfully reorganizing itself.

In recent weeks, the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga have meet to address ways to close the security vacuum in the disputed areas, which allows ISIS space to launch attacks against civilian and military targets. As a result, the two forces will open four joint operations rooms to increase coordination between them.

(NRT Digital Media)