Iraqi troops destroy three hideouts, two tunnels of Islamic State in Salahuddin
Salahuddin,IRAQ – Iraqi pro-government forces destroyed three hideouts and two tunnels of Islamic State in northwestern Salahuddin province on Sunday.
“A joint force from al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) and Salahuddin Operations Command launched a wide-scale military operation in 30 villages, northwest of Salahuddin, managing to destroy three hideouts and two tunnels that were used by Islamic State militants,” Almaalomah news website quoted the paramilitary force of al-Hashd al-Shaabi as saying.
“The troops also detonated 70 explosive charges,” the force said, adding that two of its fighters were injured when a booby-trapped house exploded.
Popular Mobilization Forces have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.
PMF won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Former prime minister Haider al-Abadi has recurrently defended PMFs against domestic and foreign accusations of committing human rights violations.
The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city. Later on, the group has become notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and beheadings, prompting the U.S. to lead an international coalition to destroy it.
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