The Iraqi armed forces, backed by the anti-ISIS coalition, continued to crack down against ISIS cells in various regions of the country to destroy the terrorist organization’s military and logistic capabilities.
The Joint Operations Command launched the fourth phase of “Heroes of Iraq” offensive in Diyala, one of the organization’s strongholds.
The international coalition, which began handing over many of its positions to the Iraqi army, announced that it would continue to assist the country’s efforts to eliminate the group.
Such statements often spark political disputes due to the ongoing heated debate between those demanding the unconditional withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and those who believe that the coalition was still necessary because of the ongoing ISIS attacks. The last of these operations was the assassination of a top military official.
The Joint Operations Command (JOC) issued a statement announcing that the forces found explosive belts and devices, rockets and launchers in one of the ISIS hideouts, as well as various kinds of military devices.
JOC deputy commander Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah said the operation aims to create a safe environment for the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The spokesperson for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief, Yehia Rasool, announced on his twitter that operations were kicked off in al-Mgaisa, Tawakkul, Diyala Basin, south Khanaqin, Zur Umm al-Hinta and al-Abara in Diyala.”
The Diyala operation was launched earlier in July in conjunction with the procedures to implement the orders of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to control border crossings with Iran.
The former head of the security and defense parliamentary committee, Hakim al-Zamili, called for comprehensive operations against ISIS, noting that a number of terrorist cells and remnants are active in some liberated areas and in the Baghdad belt.
He told Asharq al-Awsat that the terrorists are capable of hiding in their locations and predicting military preparations, adding that are located in the Hamrin mountains, Diyala, western Anbar, the Baghdad belt and south of Mosul.
The military operations have limited impact because plans are often leaked before they are implemented, allowing the terrorists to move to different areas and return once the operation is over, he remarked.
Zamili, who is a prominent member of the Sadrist movement of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, suggested that the forces launch surprise operations against their targets for them to be effective.
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