Baghdad: Four militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group were killed in airstrikes in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, a security source have said.
Acting on intelligence reports, the Iraqi aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes on IS positions and hideouts in Himreen mountain range in the north of the provincial capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, Xinhua news agency quoted Mohammed al-Azawi, a local leader of the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, as saying.
The airstrikes resulted in the killings of four IS militants, al-Azawi said.
The airstrikes came after the Iraqi security launched a major offensive in the early morning to hunt down IS militants in Himreen mountain range, al-Azawi said, adding that the offensive will continue to eliminate IS militants from the mountainous area.
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi security forces, backed by Iraqi aircraft, launched an offensive aimed at hunting down IS militants, destroying their hideouts, and securing the mountain range of Himreen, according to a statement by the Iraqi army.
Over the past few months, IS militants have intensified attacks on Iraqi security forces in the provinces where the militants previously controlled, leaving dozens dead and wounded.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since the Iraqi forces defeated IS in 2017. However, IS remnants have since melted into urban centers, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.