Iraqi forces launch large-scale anti-ISIS operation in north of Baghdad

File – Members of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi counter-terrorism forces launched a large-scale operation against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in north of Baghdad, Iraq’s state news agency INA reported on Saturday.

Units of the Counter-Terrorism Service have launched the second phase of “revenge operations of the martyrs” to cleanse areas in north of Baghdad of ISIS remnants, according to INA.

Head of Counter-Terrorism Service Lieutenant General Abdulwahab al-Saadi has said anti-ISIS operations will continue “until those involved in facilitating the entry of the terrorists who blew themselves up in Bab al-Shariq district in central Baghdad will be punished”.

Two men blew themselves up in a crowded Baghdad market on January 21, killing 32 people and wounding 110 other people.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Jan. 22.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sacked key security and police commanders, deputy interior minister for intelligence affairs, director of counter terrorism and intelligence in the interior ministry and commander of federal police forces following the blasts.

Suicide attacks, once an almost daily occurrence in the Iraqi capital, have halted in recent years since Islamic State fighters were defeated in 2017, part of an overall improvement in security that has brought normal life back to Baghdad.

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