BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – At least seven Daesh terrorists were killed on Monday in air strikes on a hideout of the terrorist group in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk, the Iraqi military said.
Based on intelligence reports, the aircraft conducted eight airstrikes on a Daesh position in a rugged area named Wadi al-Shay in the southern part of the province, the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
An Iraqi army force was sent to the scene and found bodies of seven terrorists, in addition to two explosive belts, ammunition, and weapons caches, the JOC statement said.
The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the Daesh terrorists across the country late in 2017.
However, Daesh remnants have since melted in urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent attacks against security forces and civilians.
Daesh remnants have been staging hit and run attacks across Iraq ever since the group’s defeat.
The attacks have escalated over the past year, especially since the Iraqi parliament passed a law that mandated a full withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.
Experts say the rise in terrorist activities is apparently aimed at creating a sense of insecurity in Iraq and providing a pretext for the U.S. to keep its troops in the country.
Meanwhile, a report says swarms of helicopter gunships and drones are flying over al-Anbar as the U.S. is setting up its second military base in western Iraq near the Syrian border.
Iraq’s al-Maloumah news agency cited an unnamed security source on Monday as saying that the unusual overflights above al-Qa’im District extended as far as the border with Syria.
According to the agency, the U.S. never notifies Iraqi security forces about its missions and Iraqi authorities are often kept in the dark about their nature and motivations behind them.
The new military base will be the second U.S. facility in al-Anbar after the sprawling Ain al-Assad Airbase.
The new outpost lies close to a hugely strategic area where the Iraqi, Syrian, and Jordanian borders meet.
The U.S. deployed troops to Iraq in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh. Washington and its allies retain their forces in Iraq despite Baghdad having announced the defeat of the terrorist group in 2017.
U.S. troops are also based across the border in al-Tanf in Syria, where militants fighting the Syrian government are reportedly trained and armed and used for operations in Iraq and elsewhere.