Just days after the end of the second phase, Iraq has announced the launch of the third phase of “The Will of Victory” military operation, launched to pursue ISIS militants in the desert.
The third phase of the anti-ISIS military operation dubbed the “Will of Victory” was launched on Monday, 5 August. The start of the third phase involves an attempt to secure areas in the provinces of Diyala and Nineveh.
The operation is being carried out by the Iraqi army and the air force, as well as the International Coalition to fight ISIS. The operation targets areas between the northern and western provinces of Iraq and up to the border with Syria. Members of the Diyala police as well as the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) are also heavily involved in the military operations.
In the most recent developments of the third phase of the Will of Victory operation, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced that the Military Intelligence Division has been able to infiltrate and arrest an ISIS sleeper cell, which was planning on carrying out several attacks on the city of Ramadi, Anbar Province, during the upcoming Eid celebrations. Local sources stated that five ISIS militants involved in the terrorist plan were arrested in the Jazeera al-Ramadi district of Anbar.
In another development, the Ministry of Interior, Saad Maan, announced that five ISIS militants were arrested by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province and the former main stronghold of the terrorist group. Maan stated that the arrests were made possible following cooperation with local civilians who helped the security forces detect the terrorists.
This marks the importance of civilian-military cooperation for the anti-ISIS operations, which has been emphasised since the terrorist group has regrouped in secluded areas of the country following the liberation of territories formerly under the control of ISIS.
The anti-ISIS Will of Victory operation was initially launched by the ISF and a host of other military partners at the beginning of July and significant progress against the terrorist group has already been made.