Six ISIS militants killed in Kirkuk, Diyala – military, source

File – Iraqi forces burn reed and grass to clear marshes and irrigation canals during the search operation. (Photo: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/The Guardian)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Six Islamic State (ISIS) militants were killed in Kirkuk and Diyala provinces on Sunday, operations command and a security source said.

In a statement, Kirkuk Joint Operations Command said federal police had killed two ISIS militants in an “ambush” in west of Kirkuk late on Sunday.

“One of them wore an explosive belt,” it added.

Separately, four other militants were killed in airstrikes carried out by Iraqi warplanes during an operation against the militant group in Diyala province, Xinhua cited a security source as saying.

Iraq’s security media cell said the country’s fighter jets conducted 14 airstrikes against ISIS positions and hideouts in Hamrin mountain range on Sunday.

“The security forces are determined to hunt down terrorism elements,” it said in a statement.

Iraqi forces alongside Hashid al-Shaabi launched an operation against ISIS from five directions in the Hamrin mountain range on Sunday.

In western Iraq, the security forces also carried out anti-ISIS operations in areas in Anbar, Saladin and Nineveh provinces.

The operations came after an increase in ISIS attacks on the security forces and civilians in those areas, particularly in the disputed territories claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.

Dozens of members of the security forces and civilians have been killed in the disputed areas in the past month.

Islamic State controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017. Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops backed by U.S.-led Coalition forces as well as Iran-backed Shia militias defeated the militant group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.

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