Iraqi forces killed 17 ISIS militants in Kirkuk in last two weeks: commander

A convoy of Iraqi special forces in the countryside south of Kirkuk. (Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/The Guardian)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi forces have killed 17 Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Kirkuk province in the past two weeks, Iraq’s military said on Saturday.

Commander of Kirkuk joint operations Ali al-Freji said Iraqi warplanes had also destroyed 18 ISIS hideouts in the province.

“The security forces will continue to carry out their duty in Kirkuk province and will prevent any movement of terrorists,” he said in a statement.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

Iraqi commanders have warned that the group has been regrouping in northern Iraq and relying on women to secure logistical support for their operatives in the Hamrin mountain range.

The area is caught between the jurisdictions of the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga forces.

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