The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) – in cooperation with the Badr Brigades – are about to achieve one of their most significant accomplishments since the advent of this armed conflict in Iraq – they are on the verge of liberating the whole province of Diyala from the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) after fierce clashes that engulfed the province for months.
The ISF’s success began when they captured the strategic towns of Shirwan and Muqdadiya from the possession of the ISIS militants over the course of 48 hours. The town of Muqdadiya was once an ISIS stronghold that they enjoyed control over since early 2014; it is now completely under ISF and Badr Brigades control.
Continuing their success in the Diyala Province, the ISF also captured the towns of Bablan, Twakoul, and Kaseeb – these towns are located directly north of Muqdadiya. These towns were notorious for being jihadist strongholds for years; especially, during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and later under the Nouri Al-Maliki Government.
The provincial capital of Diyala has been 100 percent cleansed of ISIS militants after the ISF and Badr Brigades success in the nearby village of Baqouba located in the northeastern outskirts. The ISF – in cooperation with the Badr Brigades – was also able to capture most of the town of Masouriya, while also killing over 30 ISIS militants in the process.
After the success over the 48 hours in the Diyala Governorate, all that remains for the ISF to capture are the villages east of Mansouriya and the remaining towns north of Muqdadiya. In fact, the ISF has already removed the ISIS banner above the Comms Tower in Sidor, after fierce clashes. If the ISF can capture the remaining areas, they will have cleared an imperative province located north of the Baghdad Governorate.
An Iraqi Army commander has commented on the recent success of the ISF, stating that “ISIS is on the retreat and disappearing in Diyala.” He further added that the ISF has suffered 58 soldiers killed-in-action (KIA) and 247 wounded during the battle to recapture the whole province.
Battlefield information provided by Haidar Sumeri (Follow him on Twitter @SumerRising)