The international coalition to defeat ISIS announced that it has conducted live ammunition and tactical movement training for its forces in Iraq.
The coalition issued a statement Saturday, saying its forces rehearsed live fire and tactical movement to “remain ready and respond in a timely manner for any future assigned mission.”
“We are committed to work alongside our partners in designated areas in Iraq and Syria towards a more secure and prosperous region,” asserted the statement.
Two months ago, the coalition announced its plans to increase the number of its forces in Iraq from 500 to about 5,000 soldiers, which sparked controversy in Iraq.
No comment was made by Iraqi officials, but political observers believe the drills fall within the framework of the forces’ readiness to combat ISIS.
The terrorist organization has recently increased its activity in many areas in Iraq, namely Diyala, Kirkuk, and Nineveh governorates.
Meanwhile, Iraq finalized the third round of its strategic dialogue with the US to schedule the withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 combat forces.
The head of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Falih al-Fayyad, affirmed that the forces are not responsible for targeting diplomatic missions in Iraq.
Fayyad asserted in a statement that the PMF is an official body that follows the Iraqi government's policy and is not responsible nor does it support any attack on foreign embassies or representations in Iraq.
He affirmed that the PMF adheres to the government’s policy in dealing with such problems.
Commenting on the strategic dialogue, Fayyad indicated that the special committee formed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces handles the strategic dialogue, schedules the withdrawal, and deals with resolving this crisis.
He pointed out that the committee is also concerned with implementing the parliament’s decision to withdraw foreign forces according to the vision of the government and the armed forces.
In other news, the spokesman for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief, Major General Yehia Rasool, confirmed that the security forces have a new method and tactic to strike ISIS remnants.
Rasool revealed that the counter-terrorism unit has targeted several ISIS locations, killing top leaders.
The spokesman told the Iraqi official news agency that based on the directives of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and through qualitative pre-emptive operations and the new strategy, the forces made precise strikes on ISIS cells and remnants.
He indicated that the attacks resulted in the death and arrest of several ISIS leaders and top commanders.
Rasool also announced that several operations were launched in various areas, including Saladin, Nineveh, and al-Anbar, noting that they included units from the army, the Ministry of Interior, and the PMF, backed by the Iraqi Air Force.