ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Joint Operations Command announced on early Monday the start of a military operation to “dry up the sources of terrorism” in the desert areas between the provinces of Anbar and Najaf along the Saudi Arabian border.
This marks the latest military campaign Iraq has launched among four other operations that took place in Anbar and north of Baghdad and then in remote areas of Diyala and Nineveh.
The military operation, dubbed “The Will of Victory,” is being carried out almost weekly and in phases to pursue sleeper cells and remnants of the so-called Islamic State, which continues to reorganize and launch attacks across different parts of the country.
“The fifth stage of this operation began at dawn on Monday in the desert of Anbar, south of the international road that borders Karbala and Najaf to the Saudi-Iraqi border,” the Joint Operations Command said in a statement seen by Kurdistan 24.
It added that the detachments from different parts of the Iraqi security apparatus are participating in the military push, including the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), with aerial support from the Iraqi air force and the international anti-ISIS coalition.
“The campaign aims to dry up the sources of terrorism, pursue wanted individuals and terrorist elements, and enhance security and stability in the areas covered by this phase,” the statement said.
In a separate, smaller-scale security operation, Iraqi forces began on Monday to hunt down suspected Islamic State terrorist remnants in the Mandali district east of the province, police in Diyala said.
Police spokesperson Ghaleb al-Attiyah said in a statement that the campaign was aimed at “raiding and searching the Nada basin and the Gibgaz mountains in Mandali district.”
This operation coincided with a separate one carried out by another security forces detachment in Diyala’s Shrwin and al-Duwalib, located in the province’s al-Mansouriya district, and villages north of al-Muqdadiya district.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany