The Global Coalition against ISIS on Saturday night targeted one of the terror group’s hideouts between the outskirts of the disputed cities of Khanaqin and Jalawla in Diyala governorate.
Brigadier-General Zargham Abdul-Khizr, commander of the Maghawer Brigade in the Iraqi army, said an Islamic State hideout on the edge of the Sirwan River between Khanaqin and Jalawla, to the west of Khanaqin city, was hit with airstrikes “in coordination with the Coalition air force and the Iraqi Air Force.”
The Brigadier-General added that seven Islamic State militants were killed in the strike, noting the security forces had “gathered intel about them for the past five days preparing for the military operation.”
Islamic State sleeper cells continue to wage an insurgency across the nation despite multiple series of anti-terrorist campaigns by Iraqi government forces since Baghdad declared a final victory over the extremist organization two years ago.
Members of the extremist group have recently carried out a series of terrorist attacks on both the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in or near other disputed territories, killing dozens. This has led to some Kurdish villagers nearby to request additional protection from the Peshmerga.
According to Brig-Gen Abdul-Khizr, Saturday night’s airstrike was meant to decrease the militant group’s capabilities in the area, as military equipment was also destroyed in the operation.
Officials from the Kurdistan Region, along with civilians in the disputed territories, have often called for a long-term joint security plan between Erbil and Baghdad to fill the often deadly security gaps, which Islamic State remnants exploit to carry out sudden insurgency attacks on the villages and areas that are far from the city centers.