SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi forces have found 13 Islamic State (ISIS) hideouts and a tunnel in their operation against the militant group in Diyala province, the military said on Monday.
Iraqi forces along with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), known as Hashid al-Shaabi, launched an operation against ISIS militants from five directions in Hamrin mountain range in Diyala province on Sunday.
In a statement, Iraqi security media cell said the army units found an ISIS tunnel in Khalwiya sector during the operation.
The counter-terrorism forces also found two explosive devices, a booby-trapped motorcycle and weapons including Kalashnikov rifles, a 12.7mm monocoque, three PKC guns and an M16 rifle, the statement read.
Units from rapid response forces found an explosive device, while the PMF fighters discovered 13 hideouts, six explosive devices and two motorcycles.
The counter-terrorism forces also killed two ISIS militants during the operation in the mountain range.
On Sunday, the security media cell said Iraqi fighter jets conducted 14 airstrikes against ISIS positions in the mountain range.
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.