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Baghdad, IRAQ– The leadership of the pro-government paramilitary troops have issued a statement on accomplishments made on the second day of operations to clear al-Jazeera region, which falls between each of Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar, according to reports.


Twenty-one Islamic State members, including Arab and foreign militants, were killed, while twenty villages were liberated, the statement said.

“Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), along with the army and Federal Police units, backed by the army jets, resumed the second day of operations to liberate the desert between each of Salahuddin, Anbar and Mosul, reaching to Iraqi-Syrian borders,” the statement said.

Troops managed to gain control on headquarters of the group’s leadership in the depth of the desert as well as a booby-trapping workshop, Iraqi News reported.

Earlier on the day, the mobilization forces’ media said ISIS members escaped their locations toward the desert depth of desert in Mosul, Salahuddin and Anbar.

PMF media said Thursday the forces had cleared 55 villages in al-Jazirah.

The Upper Euphrates and al-Jazeera Combing Operations, previously announced that“army and al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] started a wide-scale operation to liberate al-Jazeera regions located between Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar.”

Joint troops had managed to free several residential areas in Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk from Islamic State, which urged the militants to escape toward Al-Jazeera regions in those provinces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.

Meanwhile, in Mosul twenty six Islamic State militants were arrested as security troops carried out a security campaign in southeast of Mosul, a source said on Saturday.

“Security troops launched a campaign, during which several IS members were arrested in Nimrud,” the source told Baghdad Today website.

In related news, an informed source from Nineveh Operations Command said wide-scale campaign was launched to comb west and central Mosul regions, Iraqi News reports.

“The Iraqi army’s 16th division, in collaboration with al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] and local police combed the central islands in Tigris river and regions on the banks of the river in the western flank of the city,” the source said.

“The command received information over presence of sleeper cells in the region falling between the eastern and western sides of Mosul,” the source said, adding that operations are ongoing to comb regions in Mosul.

On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over IS militants who had held the second largest Iraqi city since 2014. More than 25000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.

Since the city was declared free, security troops continue to comb western Mosul areas for hidden IS cells. Despite the victory over IS there in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.

A government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition has been fighting, since October 2016, the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.



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