25/1/2021–|Last updated: 1/25/202112:34 PM (Makkah)
The Security Media Cell in Iraq announced that the international coalition warplanes carried out an airstrike at dawn today, Monday, on a cave in which ISIS militants are holed up in Salah al-Din Governorate, north of the capital, Baghdad, days after the attacks claimed by the organization. On the other hand, the head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh al-Fayyad, revealed that the militants are spread in the hundreds in the rugged mountains and the desert.
A cell statement said that the air strike, which targeted a cave in the Makhoul mountain range in the governorate, was carried out according to accurate intelligence information from the National Intelligence Service. He indicated that the death toll would be announced after the security forces arrived at the targeted place.
The War Media Cell had previously announced the killing of 7 ISIS militants in two air strikes carried out by the international coalition aircraft in the governorates of Salah al-Din and Kirkuk, north of the capital.
Al-Jazeera correspondent from Baghdad, Samer Yusuf, said that the importance of this strike lies in its timing, as it comes after security breaches of the Islamic State organization in Baghdad and Salah al-Din Governorate, which prompted the security forces to announce a military security operation to eliminate the remaining cells of ISIS.
The Popular Mobilization Forces had said that 11 of its members were killed last Saturday evening in an ISIS attack on Al-Eith Island, east of Salah al-Din Governorate.
He also said that among the dead, a regiment commander and his assistant, in addition to 8 wounded. For his part, the spokesman for the Commander in Chief of the Iraqi forces pledged to respond to the attack.
The attack was carried out with light weapons, two days after a double bombing in a crowded marketplace in Tayaran Square in central Baghdad, killing 32 civilians and wounding more than 100 others, which was also claimed by ISIS.
The spokesman for the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Major General Yahya Rasool, said in an interview with the official Al-Iraqiya TV that the information “obtained by the security forces about the Tayaran Square suicide bomber in Baghdad indicates that they are two Iraqi suicide bombers,” indicating that his country has a problem in the northeastern region of Syria. It is still not secure in the face of the infiltration of militants into Iraq, unlike the borders with the rest of the neighboring countries.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, the spokesman for the Joint Operations Command in Iraq, Tahsin Al-Khafaji, said that ISIS still exists and has the ability to move and hide in a number of regions of the country.
He added that the organization is trying, with its recent operations, which targeted electric power transmission towers and oil fields, and the attack that affected the center of the capital, Baghdad, did not disperse it and raise the morale of its collapsed fighters.
For his part, the head of the Popular Mobilization Authority said that ISIS armed groups are forming in the desert and remote and rugged areas, to carry out their operations inside cities.
In a speech during a memorial service held in Baghdad to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Hashd Commission, and the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, Al-Fayadh added, “The mobilization forces advance the martyrs in defense of the homeland, and to prevent ISIS from striking Iraqi cities, not for a sectarian goal. Or a politician, as happened in Tayaran Square in Baghdad. “
The bodies of the Popular Mobilization victims who were killed by ISIS, east of Salah al-Din governorate, were spread in a number of governorates.