Iraqi security forces have killed nearly two dozen members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group during a clean-up operation in the country’s northern province of Nineveh as government troops and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units are engaged in offensives to purge the entire war-ravaged country of the extremists.
Commander of Nineveh Liberation Operations Major General Najim Abdullah al-Jubouri said on Monday that security forces staged an ambush and killed 22 Daesh Takfiris west of Mosul, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the capital Baghdad, after a tip-off that a group of militants had infiltrated into the area.
The development came only three days after Iraq’s Interior Ministry announced in a statement that six Daesh members, including a woman, had been arrested in the same Iraqi province.
The statement noted that the extremists were all on the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s list of wanted terrorists.
Two of them were captured in Abu Maria village near Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul, while the rest were nabbed in different parts of Mosul.
Last week, Iraqi security forces announced that more than 20 Daesh militants had been killed in several security operations west of Mosul.
On December 9, 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.
“Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh,” Abadi told a conference in Baghdad then.
The Iraqi prime minister said on August 31 that Tal Afar and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
The recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of the Iraqi army, Federal Police, Counter-Terrorism Service units, pro-government fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, and the Interior Ministry’s elite rapid response forces, Abadi stated.
On July 10, Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.