In the Kirkuk, Salah Al-Din, Diyala triangle

Iraqi Army fortifies presence in ISIS areas of activity

KIRKUK – Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Abdul Amir Yarallah announced on Tuesday that ISIS remnants continue to operate within a triangle located between Kirkuk, Salah Al-Din, and Diyala provinces. The army is focusing its operations in these areas to prevent any infiltration by the group’s militants toward civilian or military targets, establishing fortified defensive lines to secure the provinces.

The remarks by Yarallah coincide with the 10th anniversary of ISIS’s takeover of large parts of Iraqi territory and the establishment of its caliphal state. Iraq has witnessed an uptick in deadly ISIS attacks, particularly in May, as part of a regional trend in the group’s activities.

“Those who claim ISIS still has military capabilities should understand that this group is defeated militarily,” Yarallah said in an official statement. “[However] the group remains ideologically driven and continues to exist in hard-to-reach areas.”

He added that military intelligence units provide daily updates on the locations of ISIS remnants, and the F-16 aircraft have conducted operations against the group. Yarallah reassured Iraqis that there is no cause for public concern about an ISIS resurgence.

ISIS remnants are concentrated in specific regions within the Kirkuk-Salah Al-Din-Diyala triangle, where military operations focus on preventing any form of infiltration or advance toward both civilian and military targets. Yarallah also mentioned that Iraqi security forces are making gradual advances in areas such as the Nineveh and Anbar provinces to deny ISIS any strategic advantage while securing the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The military plans to deploy additional units to prevent ISIS or other terrorist groups from infiltrating Iraqi territory, particularly from Syria towards Nineveh province. In neighboring Syria, ISIS has shown unprecedented levels of armed activity, killing dozens of Syrian regime soldiers over the past few months. The U.S. Central Command and United Nations estimate the number of active ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria to be between 2,500 and 7,000.