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ISIS claims responsibility for killing of Iraqi army commander

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The ISIS terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the killing of a top Iraqi army commander north of Baghdad in an "ambush" on Friday.

In a statement published on ISIS-affiliated Amaq media outlet, the extremist group claimed militants "killed General Brigadier Ali Hameed Ghaydan, commander of Brigade 59 of the Iraqi Army on Ibn Sina street... in an ambush by our fighters with various weapons."

Three others were said to be killed in the attack, according to the statement.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Friday ordered intelligence and security forces to "immediately and urgently arrest those terrorist fighters who attacked the vehicle of General Brigadier Ali Hameed Ghaydan." 

The attack comes as Iraqi forces have carried out a number of recent offensives against ISIS.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces announced the fourth phase of the “Heroes of Iraq” operation in Diyala province last week. Previous phases covered areas in Anbar, Nineveh, Salahaddin, Kirkuk, and Samarra.   

The US-led global coalition against ISIS is drawing down in Iraq. American troops have withdrawn from six bases in Iraq and this week British forces left Taji military camp in northern Baghdad.

ISIS has welcomed the withdrawal as an opportunity to spread its insurgency and has vowed to exploit the drawdown of coalition troops.

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