In Rudaw

Coalition warplanes destroy three ISIS camps in Kirkuk province

The US-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) announced on Saturday that it destroyed three ISIS camps south of Kirkuk province in coordination with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

The Friday airstrikes specifically targeted militant hideouts in the Wadi al-Shai region of Kirkuk province.

“The camps were in densely-vegetated austere terrain,”  the US-led Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said in a Saturday statement.

“The Iraqi Security Forces have tactical overmatch against ISIS; airstrikes help destroy ISIS targets in terrain difficult to reach by standard vehicles,” said Coalition Spokesperson Col. Myles B. Caggins III.

“Blowing up ISIS hideouts in bucolic locations ultimately results in security in cities and villages,” Caggins added.

The coalition spokesperson detailed that each airstrike is conducted “at the request of the Government of Iraq to help achieve a permanent defeat of Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The coalition stressed that it would continue to “maintain relentless pressure on the terrorist organization.”

The alliance was established in 2014 after ISIS militants seized vast swathes of northern Iraq, including Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul, and threatened to march on Baghdad and Erbil. It has conducted tens of thousands of strikes against ISIS since 2014.

Since the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Prime Minister of Iraq, efforts to combat terrorism have seen “increased coordination” between Iraqi security forces and the US-led coalition, Caggins told Rudaw earlier this month.

ISIS was declared  teritorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017. However, remnants of the group continue to operate, returning to earlier insurgency tactics including ambushes, kidnappings and targeted killings across the disputed territories, including Kirkuk.

Military operations have failed to entirely clear their presence, and military bodies worldwide have warned the group is still resurging.

Several Kakai villagers were killed in an ISIS attack in Khanaqin last week, prompting Kurdish leaders to renew calls for joint security coordination in the disputed territories. Source