Mosul (IraqiNews.com) A senior Islamic State military commander was arrested in Mosul, Iraq’s military intelligence service said on Monday as security forces continue to hunt for remnant militants in hiding at the recaptured city.
The service said the arrested militant was Islamic State’s military area commander for eastern Mosul, but gave no details yet of his identity. Ten other subordinate members were also arrested with him.
Since the Iraqi government declared early July the recapture of Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital in Iraq, police forces have been combing the western side of the city for sleeper militant cells and munition hiding places. The militants have also launched a few sporadic attacks against troops and civilians since the declaration.
The Iraqi government intends to aim at other Islamic State havens in Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin once it is done with retaking Tal Afar, Islamic State’s last stronghold in Nineveh which the Defense Ministry had completed preparations for invading. The Defense Ministry said recently it was waiting for orders to launch operations for the enclave. So far, operations by pro-government militias, the Popular Mobilization, have isolated the town from Mosul and from the Syrian borders, and retook several surrounding villages.
Diyala (IraqiNews.com) Four Islamic State militants, including prominent leader, were killed, while another member was arrested north of Diyala province, according to the Dijla Operations Command.
“Joint troops killed on Sunday four IS members,including a senior leader as clashes occurred in al-Bou Bakr village, at the outskirts of al-Azeem town, north of Diyala,” Maj.Gen. Mazhar al-Azzawi, commander of Dijla Operations, told Alghad Press.
The command, according to Azzawi, “will continue its operations in Diyala, especially the border regions, to eradicate the group’s cells there.”
Moreover, Azzawi announced arresting a dangerous IS member in al-Nada basin, east of Diyala.
“Security troops transferred the arrested member to detention centers to take legal measures,” Azzawi said.
Attacks launched by IS militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town. Several regions were freed in wide-scale military operations launched by army troops, backed by the U.S.-led coalition.
According to observers, the group is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.
Mutaibija (IraqiNews.com) A prominent Islamic State leader and his companion were killed near the borders between Salahuddin and Diyala provinces, Dijla Operations Command has announced.
‘Joint troops killed a senior IS leader called Haitham Abdullah Hamad al-Terazi and one of his companions in an operation carried out near Hawi al-Azeem region,” Maj. Gen. Mazhar al-Azzawi, commander of Dijla Operations told AlSumaria News on Monday.
“Terazi, who is an Iraqi national, is a prominent IS leader in Mutaibija. He has been an important target for security troops, which killed him after locating his position accurately,” Azzawi added. “Such operations killed several IS leaders over the past few months, especially near borders between Salahuddin and Diyala.”
Pivotal regions that link between each of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, are still held by the militants posing threats to the liberated regions. IS havens are expected to be targeted by the Iraqi government, after security achieved victory in Mosul, the group’s biggest stronghold in Iraq.
Occasional attacks have been witnessed in Mutaibija by Islamic State against government and paramilitary troops deployments since Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and PMUs, launched a major offensive to retake areas occupied by IS since 2014.
In a press conference held in Baghdad on Monday, Ahmed al-Assadi, spokesperson of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said “the incidents which Sayyed al-Shuhada brigades were exposed to, occurred in depth of the Syrian land.”
The troops in Syria, according to Assadi, “have been fighting there for around six years. They play a great role to prevent terrorism reach to Iraq.”
If it weren’t for these factions deployed in Syria, “the Syrian regime would have fallen to those terrorists,” Assadi said adding that factions “which suffer strikes, have the right to take the suitable measures.”
Last week, the U.S.-led coalition denied allegations of shelling PMUs deployed near Iraqi-Syrian borders after Sayyid al-Shuhada brigades, a militia of the PMUs, said U.S. troops heavily shelled its positions across the Iraqi-Syrian borders early on Monday.
In May, Abu Alaa al-Wala’i, the secretary general of the militia, said the U.S. jets shelled the PMUs deployed in alBou Kamal region, near Iraqi-Syrian borders.
Assadi also added that the troops are only backed by Iraqi army and jets which provide them with air cover.
In November 2016, the Pentagon said the U.S.-led coalition would not provide air support to the PMUs.
“The first and third brigades repulsed an attack launched by IS militants from three directions toward the Iraqi-Syrian borders in north of Tal Sufuk region,” the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said in a statement on Sunday.
“The troops killed twenty militants and injured eight others of the attackers, while four of their vehicles were burnt,” the statement added.
Badr Organization, which operates under the umbrella of the PMUs, announced earlier this year reaching to Iraqi-Syrian borders.
PMUs, an alliance of more than 60 mostly Shia militias, are recognized by the Iraqi government as a national force under the Prime Minister’s command. The troops has been actively engaged in the government’s campaign against the Islamic State that ran since mid-October, during which more than 25000 militants were killed. The troops contributed to the campaign by regaining control over IS holdouts near the Syrian borders.
Despite declaring the victory over IS in Mosul in July, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.’