The Iraqi armed forces announced Monday the arrest of an ISIS leader in Kirkuk, on the second day of a security operation launched in the northern provinces of the country to impose security and stability in areas outside the army control.
“The Armed Forces were able to arrest the leading terrorist, Abu Bukhari, in Kirkuk governorate,” the country’s Security Media Cell said in a statement.
It said that “a precise intelligence operation” was carried out by Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service and in coordination with the security forces of the Kurdistan Region and resulted in the arrest of ISIS commander Abu Bukhari in Kirkuk.
On Sunday, Iraq launched a large-scale operation to impose security and stability in areas outside the control of its security forces in the north of the country.
Intelligence information reports the presence of several “security-free” areas that had turned into a haven for militants in Iraq.
A security expert said that Sunday’s operation was part of the pursuit of hundreds of ISIS remnants who fled to areas they believe are far from the reach of the Iraqi security forces.
On Sunday, a Popular Mobilization Forces statement said a force from the Kirkuk and East Tigris Operations Command in the PMF, with the participation of units of military engineering, anti-explosives, and military intelligence, in cooperation with Salah al-Din Operations Command, launched a large security operation on Al-Aith Island in Salah al-Din governorate.
The statement added: “The operation was launched from six location points, with the help of an army force and a force from the Counter-Terrorism Service.”
The Arab World news agency quoted a military intelligence officer as saying that when ISIS controlled the area, a large number of youth from Al-Aith joined the terrorist organization.
After Iraq liberated those areas, Al-Aith remained a haven for ISIS members fleeing from other regions, said the officer, who requested anonymity.
Also on Monday, the Security Media Cell reported in a statement that a force from the Kirkuk and East Tigris Operations Command in the PMF, found three headquarters of ISIS gangs in Al-Aith area, east of Salah al-Din.