Iraqi forces kill 4 during anti-ISIS operation in Diyala’s Hamrin Mountains
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi forces carried out an operation against ISIS militants in the Hamrin Mountains, said the military press office known as the Security Media Cell on Thursday.
According to a statement, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, which coordinates the activity of the military, police, and other security forces, carried out the operation which resulted in the killing of four ISIS fighters, noting that “an airstrike was directed at the most important main hideouts in the Hamrin mountain range.”
It added, “This den is considered a center for launching terrorist operations in the Kirkuk area.”
Hamrin is a rugged mountain ridge located mostly in Diyala province that stretches from areas near the Iranian border and westward to the eastern banks of the Tigris River, straddling the borders of Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces. The area has long been a safe haven for extremist groups that maintain caves and tunnels there from which they have often staged deadly attacks.
The cell confirmed that the operation “was carried out based on accurate intelligence information and on the infiltration of terrorist gangs by intelligence agencies.”
She added that “the rest of the terrorist elements clashed in the den, and one of them was killed and the other blew himself up after being surrounded by the force.”
She stressed that “the total number of dead people has reached 4, and search and search operations are still in place to search for the rest of the terrorist hideouts within this region.
Suspected ISIS gunmen killed two people on Tuesday evening in an ambush in Kurdistan the Region’s Garmiyan area.
“Two individuals--one policeman and a civilian--were killed, and a third person was wounded at a fake checkpoint by ISIS militants on a road between Kifri district and Sarqala district in Garmiyan administration,” a local source told Kurdistan 24.
Garmiyan, like the Hamrin mountain range, is part of areas that have suffered from the lack of unified military communication and strategy in large tracts of land ranging from the disputed territories of Khanaqin in central Diyala province to Kirkuk and northward to multiple areas surrounding Mosul.
Since its 2017 territorial defeat in Iraq, ISIS fighters have adopted many of the same guerrilla tactics it used to gain prominence before seizing control of large parts of both Iraq and Syria in 2014, launching attacks on security forces and the population in general throughout areas the terrorist group previously controlled.