ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces, with the support of US-led coalition aircraft, launched parallel military operations on Monday to eliminate remnants of the Islamic State in different parts of the Diyala and Nineveh provinces.
It is the latest military campaign by Iraqi security forces, dubbed “Will of Victory” after its success in clearing areas north of Baghdad and to the west in two military operations carried out under the same name.
In Diyala, the operation will target areas located north of the Miqdadiya district, north of Jalawla and Khanaqin, most of which are disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq.
In Nineveh, the operation aims at clearing Atshana heights, Badush mountain range, Sheikh Ibrahim, and Khat al-Lain areas, according to a statement by Iraq’s Joint Operations Command.
It also noted that the participating forces are: the Iraqi Army, Diyala police, Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia, and Sunni tribal militias with the aerial support of Iraqi and US-led coalition aircraft.
The statement did not mention the participation of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces nor mentioned any military coordination with them in the campaign.
On Monday morning, Prime Minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, arrived at the Joint Operations Command headquarters in Diyala to monitor the campaign.
The operation comes as activities of Islamic State militants have increased in the area.
Most of the group’s insurgency attacks occur in disputed territories and between the contact lines of Iraqi forces and Peshmerga, taking advantage of the security vacuum.
On Monday, Peshmerga and Kurdish security forces also launched a similar military campaign in the nearby territories they control, namely around Kulajo Village in the town of Kifri.
“The operation is to eliminate remnants of Da’esh who have infiltrated our areas over the past few weeks,” Kamal Mohammed, a Peshmerga commander in Kifri, told Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast interview.
He also stated that there is no military coordination or cooperation with the Iraqi forces in the area where they launched their campaigns.
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