Baghdad, November 15: At least ten Islamic State (IS) terrorists were killed as the confrontations broke out between a terrorist organization and Iraqi security forces in the south of Kirkuk, Iraq on Tuesday late night. However, during the confrontation, four security personnel were also killed.
The official spokesperson of Iraq Army said, “Al-Hashd al-Shaabi commonly known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) invaded Kadamat village, south of Kirkuk, where confrontations occurred against IS terrorists and troops managed to eliminate 10 of them.” “Moreover, the clashes left four PMFs personnel killed,” the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson further said that the counter operation was carried out to comb the regions between Kadamat and the borders of al-Rashad, southwest of Kirkuk, and follow the terrorist group’s hideouts during which the confrontation began. Notably, Iraqi troops managed to retake several Islamic State strongholds including Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh, Hawija in Kirkuk and Annah and Qaim in Anbar.
Operations were launched in late September to liberate Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk before Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced retaking the town in October this year. Earlier, on November 11 of this year, the Iraqi forces found a mass grave containing the remains of at least 400 civilians murdered by the Islamic State terrorist organization in the same region Kirkuk.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province in the northern part of Iraq. ISIS forces drove the Iraqi military from the capital city of Kirkuk in 2014, however, later Kurdish forces in turn defeated and pushed ISIS out of the city, which the Kurds had held for more than two years. The Iraqi government has already ordered Kurdish forces to hand over the city. But when the Kurds refused to hand over the city, the Iraqi military moved in and took control of the city in mid-October.
The takeover of Kirkuk was ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who called on Kurdish Peshmerga forces to cooperate with them. His order came just weeks after a Kurdish referendum for independence claimed Kirkuk as their own city. The city is among the most coveted of disputed territories in the region and falls outside the internationally recognized autonomous Kurdish region in the northwest of Iraq.
According to a monthly release by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued on Wednesday noted that 114 Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts. Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, coming in the first place with 177 civilian casualties (38 killed, 139 injured). Anbar province followed with 36 killed and 55 injured, and then Kirkuk with 18 killed and 33 injured.