Iraqi military intelligence announced on Wednesday that a notorious leader of the ISIS militant group and four of his aides were killed during a military operation in Salahuddin province, north of Iraq.
“Troops of the Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate, in cooperation with the 88th brigade of the IMIS and the Iraqi Air Force, carried out a military operation in Hamrin Mountains in Salahuddin, leaving an IS leader and four of his aides dead,” the Baghdad Post quoted the directorate as saying in a press statement.
The ISIS leader was identified as Talib Garw al Azzawy, the directorate said.
The troops also destroyed their terrorist hotbeds, added the statement.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
ISIS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake ISIS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.