Conflict

Anti-ISIS Operations Continue to Clear Out Villages in Iraq

Iraq

The ‘Will of Victory’ operation continues in the countryside east of Anbar Province, with the participation of numerous forces.

The second phase of the anti-ISIS “Will to Victory” operations in the desert areas bordering Anbar and Salahuddin provinces in Iraq are ongoing and are recording new successes against the terrorist group. The main units that are currently involved in the operations are the 10th Brigade, 42nd Brigade, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, and the Operations Command of north Baghdad and Salahuddin. 

The most recent successes involve the clearing of ISIS cells from the areas of Umm Najm, Al-Awad, Al-Hamra, Al-Busaaf, the Niba’a area, the Eastern Qusaybah, and Al-Qasarat, in addition to securing the desert areas towards Samarra.

Areas that still hold an ISIS threat include Khairat and Karma. The mayor of Karma, Ahmad Makhlaf, hopes to see follow-up operations in these areas.

“We expect that there is continuous follow-up by the Anbar Operations Command and the Baghdad Operations Command for all areas, especially the areas of Karma Island and the areas connecting Karma, Samarra, and Salahuddin,” said Makhlaf. “These areas are dangerous and the security services are continuing to scan these areas for the purpose of monitoring any defect or penetration from these territories towards the areas of Khairat or Karma.”

The Will to Victory operations were launched over three weeks ago in an effort to end all ISIS presence in Iraq, especially following numerous ambushes and attacks committed by ISIS militants from hidden sleeper cells in hard-to-reach areas. For instance, at the end of June, a member of the federal police was killed and three others were wounded in an ISIS raid on a security patrol south of Salahuddin Province.

The second phase was launched just a week ago in an attempt to secure areas north of Baghdad and the rural areas off the provinces of Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar.

ISIS numbers in Iraq have depleted drastically over the past two years. Some of their members have re-grouped in desert areas in attempts to hold on to some physical presence, although this latest military operation will seek to completely eradicate the group’s presence in Iraq.