The Iraqi forces launched Saturday the fourth phase of its battle against the terrorist organizations, in Diyala governorate on the border with Iran
Deputy chief of staff Lieutenant General Abdul Amir al-Shammari announced the launch of the fourth phase of the “Iraqi Heroes” military operation targeting ISIS remnants and establishing security and stability in Diyala.
He also indicated that the forces will be combing the border area with Iran and launching operations in areas between the federal forces and Peshmerga forces which terrorists use to launch their attacks.
Shammari added that the operation was launched under the guidance of the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and under the supervision of the Joint Operations Command.
He explained that the operation covers more than 17,000 square kilometers, with the participation of the Land Forces Command, the Federal Police Command, Rapid Response Forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), as well as Diyala, Samarra, and Saladin Operations Commands.
Shammari said that the new military operation has important and specific goals, without specifying the nature of these tasks.
On Saturday, the Security Media Cell announced the launch of the military operation in Diyala explaining that Iraqi Special Forces and other forces raided specific targets within the province, based on accurate intelligence information.
This coincides with the government’s operation aimed to control border crossings with Iran, under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister.
The Media Cell indicated that the joint security forces’ operations destroyed an ISIS headquarters, and six hideouts on its first day. They also destroyed six motorcycles used for launching terrorist attacks, and detonated four explosive devices.
Diyala MP, and member of the Security and Defense parliamentary committee, Abdul Khaleq al-Azzawi confirmed that there is a large security vacuum between Diyala and Saladin.
Azzawi added that ISIS usually takes advantage of this vacuum to infiltrate in and out of Diyala, allowing it to launch its terrorist attacks, which has greatly affected the security conditions of the province.
However, former Saladin MP Muzahim al-Jabouri said that terrorist organizations exploit the disagreements in disputed areas to carry out more terrorist operations.
Jabouri told Asharq al-Awsat that there is a link between sectarian or ethnic clashes in the disputed areas, and ISIS attempts to expand its operations.
The time has come for the state to extend its control over all regions of the districts, regardless of the ethnic or sectarian backgrounds, stressed Jabouri.