Iraq's volunteer forces battle ISIL for control of Diyala Province
One of Iraq's most influential Shia clerics recently called upon all capable Iraqis to pick up arms and fight ISIL militants. (AFP/File)
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Iraqi military forces have killed nearly 300 militants in separate attacks across the country as they get the upper hand in the battle against the militants.
According to local media sources, fierce clashes are underway between government forces and the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern areas.
Pro-government forces have retaken the control of the city of Muqdadiyah in Diyala Province northeast of Baghdad.
Military officials say the armed forces have achieved remarkable victories with the help of volunteer forces. Some 1.5 million Iraqis from different backgrounds have volunteered to join the battle against the ISIL extremists.
The army is now coordinating with forces in the city of Samarra and other areas north of the capital to recapture the territories overrun by the militants.
The reinforcements in Samara were awaiting orders to launch a counter-offensive against the ISIL militants in cities of Dur and Tikrit.
On Sunday, one of ISIL commanders Abu Omar al-Esseily was killed in an attack on his car in the militant-held city of Mosul, which is the provincial capital of the Nineveh Province.
On June 10, the militants of the al-Qaeda offshoot group took control of Mosul, which followed the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes since the time.
The ISIL militants have vowed to continue their raid toward the capital, Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that the country’s security forces would confront the terrorists, calling Mosul seizure a “conspiracy.”