Iraqi forces thwart ISIS attacks in Baghdad
By Khalid al-Taie
Iraqi forces have foiled terror attacks in Baghdad that "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) remnants were planning to launch from the north of the capital, an Iraqi military official told Diyaruna Monday (January 13th).
After the conclusion of the eighth phase of the Will of Victory security campaign two weeks ago, the Joint Operations Command received information from its intelligence sources that terrorists were intending to carry out attacks in Baghdad, command spokesman Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji said.
"They have chosen areas north of the capital, specifically in al-Tarmiyah district, as a launch pad for their operations towards the heart of the capital," he said.
The Baghdad Operations Command, the 59th Brigade of the army's 6th Division and the 9th Armoured Division's 37th Brigade launched a large-scale search in those areas, al-Khafaji said.
The two-day operation, which was dubbed "Promising Peace", was launched on January 9th with the participation of the Iraqi air force command and army aircraft, he told Diyaruna.
'Message to terrorists'
The operation has achieved significant results, he said, adding, "we were able to thwart the terrorists' plans and deliver a message to them that no matter how much they try, they will not be able to escape from us".
"We are monitoring their movements everywhere and can reach them and kill or arrest them," he said.
"We have succeeded in repelling the terrorists' threat by not allowing them to gain a foothold near the capital or use farming land, trees and the heavy vegetation in al-Tarmiyah as cover," al-Khafaji said.
"Three [ISIS] rest-houses were burnt down and at least 20 wanted individuals were arrested in connection with terrorist cases," he said.
During the operation, an "ISIS hideout in the al-Husayba orchards" was uncovered and a large number of rockets, projectiles and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found, the Security Media Cell said last Friday.
Stocks of ammunition and mortar shells were also found, it said, noting that an area of 200 square kilometres was searched north of Baghdad.
In conjunction with the operation, federal police forces in the 3rd and 6th divisions killed eight ISIS remnants in southern Kirkuk, al-Khafaji said.
Four isolated villages and areas were also cleared after the security forces reached them for the first time, he said.