The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have made significant progress in the Diyala and Salahiddeen Governorates over the last ten months, as the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) continue to suffer loss after loss near the Iraqi capital; this success has forced the terrorist group to abandon their positions and reinforce their comrades at the provinces of Al-‘Anbar and Nineveh in western Iraq.
Despite the devastating loss of Al-Ramadi (provincial capital of Al-‘Anbar) to the terrorist group, the Iraqi Security Forces and their allies from the Badr Brigades and Hashid Al-Sha’abi have been able to recover almost all of the territory in the Diyala Governorate, while also capturing a number of strategic ISIS strongholds like Tikrit and Baiji inside the Salahiddeen Governorate.
Due to their success in these provinces located in central Iraq, the Iraqi Security Forces have been able to take control of 80 percent of the Diyala-Salahiddeen provincial borders, leaving the militants from ISIS with only a small pocket of territory left in their possession.
If the Iraqi Security Forces are successful in recapturing all of the territory in the Diyala and Salahiddeen Governorates, ISIS will no longer have a presence in eastern Iraq and they will be forced to rely solely on their contingents in the Al-‘Anbar Governorate to reach the Iraqi capital of Baghdad; however, this is unlikely to happen as each day concludes with minimal success for the terrorist group.
In addition to their success in the Salahiddeen Governorate, the Iraq media activist – Haider Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) – has reported that the Iraqi Security Forces have taken control of six towns located north of Baghdad; these towns were identified as the following: Hourat, Khadhra, Ghazila, Nahr Al-Yabis, Albu Shlal, and Albu Hayat.
On Sunday morning, the Iraqi Army’s 8th Division and Hashd Al-Sha’abi arrested 34 members of ISIS (including Saudi and Afghani members), while also confiscating a large cache of assault rifles, ammunition, RPGs, 150 mobile phones, IED materials, and grenades during an assault at the villages of Ishaqi, Samarra, and Jazira.