Two hideouts targeted

Iraqi airstrikes target ISIS militants in Kirkuk

KIRKUK — Iraqi fighter jets launched airstrikes on two hideouts of Islamic State group militants in Kirkuk governorate early Thursday morning, , killing three militants, according to early reports.

The airstrikes were the culmination of three days of surveillance targeting the militants’ activities in the areas.

The Islamic State, which seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria in 2014 and declared a “caliphate,” instigated a reign of terror. However, they were driven out of Iraq in 2017 by Iraqi forces and Peshmerga, supported by a U.S.-led coalition. The group lost their last territory in Syria in 2019 to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

A source from the Iraqi intelligence services in Kirkuk told 964media that surveillance had identified two ISIS hideouts: one in the Rukhana area in Daquq and another in the Wadi Khanajir area near the village of Hamraniya. “An experienced intelligence team carried out the necessary surveillance, leading to this morning’s airstrikes,” the source said.

Security operations continue in the area to eliminate any remaining threats.

On the 10th anniversary of the Speicher Massacre, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani stated that terrorist groups are now diminished and no longer pose a significant threat to Iraq’s security. “Our heroic security forces have repeatedly defeated them, reducing their gangs to scattered remnants that no longer threaten our nation’s security,” he said.

Despite these claims, remnants of these groups continue to launch deadly attacks from remote and desert hideouts.

In recent weeks, Iraq has seen a resurgence in militant attacks. On May 14, an attack in Salah Al-Din governorate killed an army officer and four soldiers. A week later, a vehicle carrying five Iraqi army officers near Suleiman Beg was bombed, resulting in one death and four injuries. The following day, an improvised explosive device killed five family members on the Baiji-Haditha Road in Anbar governorate, which officials say was recently planted.

A United Nations report in January estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 ISIS fighters are still active across Iraq and Syria.

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