A senior "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) leader and three of his aides were killed in a landing operation in Diyala province's Hamreen mountains, the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said Monday (April 15th).
"An airborne CTS special force carried out a landing operation Sunday deep in the Hamreen mountains that led to the killing of Mohammed Salman Daoud, an ISIS leader in Diyala," said CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan.
The Iraqi national, who was the ISIS "wali" of Hamreen, was killed alongside three of his aides, he told Diyaruna.
The attack was carried out "in co-ordination with the Iraqi intelligence service and with the support of international coalition aircraft", he said.
"The terrorist was the 'wali' of the northern Baghdad district and later moved to the area of al-Muqdadiya in Diyala to become the commander of Hamreen mountains," said al-Numan.
Daoud was responsible for receiving suicide bombers from the provinces of Ninawa, Kirkuk and Salaheddine and planning suicide attacks, he added.
The senior leader's death represents "a painful blow to the terrorist remnants", he said.
ISIS attacks thwarted
Sunday's operation was preceded by a quality operation in the Hamreen mountains that led to the thwarting of a "major terrorist plot", al-Numan said.
The operation was supported by both Iraqi aircraft and international coalition warplanes.
"Coalition aircraft, based on information from the CTS's intelligence office, carried out concentrated airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in the area," he said.
The operation had lasted four days, with troops parachuting in and setting fire to 15 ISIS shelters. Among them was a centre used to produce ISIS's weekly propaganda magazine Al-Naba.
Twelve ISIS elements were killed in the operation, and stocks of weapons and equipment as well as "important documents" and computers were seized, he said.
A special team is currently analysing the seized computers and documents, al-Numan said.
The operation took place "after a full month of monitoring of the terrorists, who thought they were out of our troops' and sources' sight", he said.
Additionally, a large ISIS attack dubbed "Revenge of the Levant Invasion", was foiled, said al-Numan.
ISIS elements were "planning to wage violent attacks in the country in retaliation for their defeat in Syria and in an attempt to prove that they still exist", he said.
"The CTS will continue to conduct pre-emptive and surprise operations against [ISIS] remnants," he said.