The Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Saturday released a video recording showing airstrikes on ISIS sleeper cell positions in the Diyala province portion of the Hamrin mountain range.
Iraqi F-16 fighter jets raided one of the terrorist group’s hideouts on the mountain near Lake Hamrin in Diyala. The operation took place on Thursday.
The defense ministry wrote in a statement published on its Facebook page that they carried out the strikes in coordination with the Joint Operations Command and hit “ISIS gangs targets.
Local security sources said the Iraqi aircraft destroyed the hideouts and tunnels the group’s operatives used. Although no official numbers were given, military communications center Security Media Cell said the operation “killed all the terrorists inside.”
Hamrin Mountain is a sprawling mountain range, which starts near Khanaqin district’s southern part and stretches to Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces to the northwest. The rugged area has long been a hiding spot for the terrorist organization’s sleeper cells and is part of regions of the country still wracked by an insurgency waged by the Islamic State.
Baghdad declared an official military victory against the ISIS in late 2017, but the group continues to launch insurgent attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings across much of the country.
On Thursday night, residents of a Kurdish village outside Makhmour repelled an Islamic State insurgent attack. According to the statement, residents of the village, who are members of the Peshmerga, faced the intruders head-on, leading to armed clashes between them.
Recently, members of the extremist group have carried out a series of terrorist attacks on both the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in such areas in or near other disputed territories, killing dozens. This has led to some Kurdish villagers nearby to request additional protection from Peshmerga forces.