Iraqi forces have launched a full-scale security operation aiming at cleansing Diyala governorate from ISIS cells hiding in the eastern province after the group’s major defeat on December 2017.
Scores of the Islamic State elements have taken refuge in the northern parts of the bordering governorate in order to carry out guerrilla warfare against government targets across the area.
Led by the 5th Division, the Iraqi forces have so far managed to kill more than 20 ISIS jihadists, destroy 4 pickup vehicles and 12 motorcycles, as well as seize 4 mortar launchers and 10 ammo caches.
In a related context, federal police forces arrested two employees, including an electric engineer, over links with the Islamic State terror group.
On Sunday, ISIS released a video on its propaganda agency, Aamaq, showing six men, with their faces covered in bruises. The detainees were members of the Iraqi police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), who were kidnapped last week on a road linking Baghdad to Kirkuk.
The ultraconservative militants vowed to slaughter the abductees soon if the Iraqi government didn’t respond to their demands.