The campaign will strike at the operational hubs and “sleeper cells’ in five different “axes” in Iraq, including the Nineveh province, which borders Syria, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement
Embattled Iraq has stepped its fight against the Islamic State, starting the eighth phase of the “Will of Victory” campaign to eliminate remnants of the terror group, which has seeded itself in multiple areas of the country.
The campaign will strike at the operational hubs and “sleeper cells’ in five different “axes” in Iraq, including the Nineveh province, which borders Syria, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement as reported by a website, which tracks terror funding.
The command said that Islamic State members would be cleared as a follow-up to Iraq’s victory over the group in December 2017. It added that the Iraqi air force, as well as US backed Coalition aircraft and fighters from the Tribal Mobilisation Forces, along with the Iraqi security and intelligence entities would be roped in for this task.
However, the task would not be easy because the terror group, adopting guerrilla tactics continues to mount regular attacks, including bombings, ambushes and kidnappings targeting Iraqi security forces, Kurdish forces, and civilians in areas liberated from its control. Major cities such as Baghdad and Kirkuk have also not been spared in the ISIS’ riposte.
The grim battle has also impacted families of the terror groups, who have been defeated in specific enclaves.
Iraqi authorities have repatriated 111 Iraqi families linked to the Islamic State group from a Kurdish-run camp in northern Syria, a local official said on Monday.
The challenge of rehabilitating these 339 families linked to ISIS arose after the capture of the Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. These units have been transferred to Al Jadaa camp south of Mosul in Iraq.
But residents of this area, who suffered the brutality of ISIS, who had occupied this area between 2014-1, are protesting the move to rehabilitate these families.
Bowing to pressure, Iraqi authorities last month declared their intent to close Al-Jadaa, the last camp, which has been sheltering those displaced in Iraq, outside of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The International Organisation for Migration has recorded that six million Iraqis have been displaced during the rule of ISIS.
An estimated 1.2 million displaced people have not been able to return home. More than 100,000 live outside camps in “informal sites,” the website reported.