ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi operations command in coordination with US-led coalition warplanes killed six remnants of the Islamic State in the disputed town of Makhmour, the military said on Sunday.
The airstrike targeted militants near Qerechukh Mountain and the village of al-Samr, Iraqi security forces said in a statement, some 60 kilometers south of Erbil.
“The force carrying out the duty also found the bodies of the dead terrorists as well as four rifles,” the statement added.
Makhmour is one of the disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq. It is currently under the control of the Iraqi forces.
Islamic State sleeper cells in the area, however, have remained active over the past few years. Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces occasionally launch military operations in attempts to eliminate the threat the jihadist group poses, but this has been limited to the outskirts of the town.
Iraq’s military also announced on Sunday afternoon that counter-terrorism forces, with the support of Iraqi and US-led coalition aircrafts, carried out the “New Dawn” operation against the Islamic State in the Hawija, Rashad, and Abasi areas, located southwest of Kirkuk Province.
The attack reportedly killed a number of terrorists and led to the seizure of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and destruction of underground tunnels, according to the statement.
“It comes as part of preemptive operations to track the remnants of terrorist gangs in these areas,” the military statement explained.
Iraq declared military victory over the Islamic State in late 2017, but the group continues to launch insurgency attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings in the country.
Editing by Nadia Riva