Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga and US-led International Coalition launched on Monday a joint military operation targeting remnants of the ISIS terrorist group near the town of Makhmour, southwest of Erbil.
It is the second major military campaign launched by the Peshmerga since Iraq declared victory over the jihadist group in December last year.
The joint Iraqi-Kurdish operation, supported by the US-led coalition, took place on Mount Qarachukh, 52 kilometers southwest of Erbil, a military source told Kurdistan 24 on Monday.
Kurdish and Iraqi forces backed by the coalition are aiming to clear out ISIS remnants from the mountainous area, the source added.
“People have often seen ISIS militants walking in the area,” a villager told Kurdistan 24 Correspondent Hoshmand Sadiq.
Coalition jets carried out a series of raids on ISIS targets on the mountain, which has often been used by the jihadist group to attack Kurdish forces.
Iraqi forces control the other side of Mount Qarachukh, located on the eastern side of Makhmour.
Peshmerga and Iraqi forces launched the operation on several fronts as the coalition informed them there are roughly 200 ISIS militants hiding on the mountain, a military sources said.
“We previously cleared the region from ISIS, but now militants are re-emerging, and there are foreign militants among them.”
On June 30, Peshmerga forces with the support of the US-led coalition, launched a similar operation on Mount Qarachukh, killing several ISIS extremists in the area.
Despite Iraq declaring ‘final victory’ over ISIS in December of last year, the group continues to launch insurgency-style attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the disputed provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, and Salahuddin.