Security

Coalition strike hits ISIS hideout near Kirkuk

By Khalid al-Taie

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An international coalition fighter jet is seen taking part in an aerial sortie targeting ISIS positions in this file photo, posted online on October 4th, 2017. [Photo courtesy of the US Digital Outreach Team]

The Iraqi Counter-terrorism Service (CTS) on Monday (November 5th) said it had provided information about an "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) hideout near Kirkuk to the international coalition that resulted in a successful airstrike.

"We provided the coalition forces with very accurate information about a hideout that contained a terrorist cell near Kirkuk," CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told Diyaruna.

"Coalition aircraft immediately directed a devastating strike on the hideout, which consisted of a 500-metre long string of tunnels," he said.

Nineteen ISIS elements were killed in the strike, he said.

The CTS had been monitoring the cell's movements and had a good deal of information from private sources about their hiding place, he said, commending the timing of the pre-emptive strike.

The cell had intended to carry out terrorist attacks on civilian and security targets in the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding towns, al-Numan said.

"The pre-emptive strike thwarted the terrorist threat and did not give ISIS an opportunity to realize its criminal intentions," he said.

Fruitful security co-ordination

The Kirkuk operation demonstrates "the extent of co-ordination and the continued and fruitful co-operation with the coalition forces", al-Numan said.

The international coalition has been steadfast in its support for Iraqi efforts "to eliminate the remaining enemy presence, especially in remote and desert areas, and to create a safe and stable environment", he added.

"Our joint work in the exchange of intelligence information and the monitoring of the activities of ISIS remnants is proceeding well, with successful airstrikes on their strongholds," al-Numan said.

CTS forces also have been conducting special operations of their own, he noted, through which they have been able to take out dangerous terror cells and networks and strike their sources of support.

In mid-October, for example, they succeeded in dismantling a seven-member terror cell after tracking it down in the city of Kirkuk.

The cell was responsible for attacks against civilians in the city, he said, adding that light weapons, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and detonation devices were found in the possession of the detainees.

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