Iraqi forces began a major operation Wednesday against ISIL Takfiri group terrorists hiding out in a northeastern desert region, the military said.
The army, rapid intervention forces and paramilitaries, in coordination with Kurdish fighters and with Iraqi and coalition air cover, launched the operation east of Tuz Khurmatu “to chase away ISIL remnants,” said Iraq’s Security Information Centre.
Iraqi forces retook several villages and stormed an ISIL camp, according to the rapid intervention forces.
The operation met no initial resistance, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
Iraq declared victory against ISIL in December, more than three years after the terrorist group seized a third of its territory and swathes of neighboring Syria, declaring a “caliphate” ruling over millions of people.
Tuz Khurmatu is home to a mixed Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen population. It was the scene of deadly violence in mid-October when Iraqi forces retook it in response to a Kurdish independence referendum.