On Tuesday, an Iraqi security source said that the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched a preemptive security operation targetting ISIS sleeper cells in the al-Rutbah desert, west of Anbar. The troops succeeded in destroying tunnels used by the militant group.
Iraqi troops destroyed on Tuesday secret tunnels used by Islamic State militants during a security crackdown in Anbar, a security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Iraqi news website Almaalomah, the source said that a preemptive security operation was launched to target “gangs of the criminal Daesh (IS) group in the desert of ar-Rutbah, west of Anbar.”
“The troops managed to destroy three IS tunnels and killed all the terrorists inside,” the source said, adding that a huge amount of weapons were found inside the tunnels.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq last November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.
However, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.