Iraqi forces kill 43 ISIS gangs north of Tikrit
NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the forces, backed by Shia volunteer fighters, carried out an offensive in Hayy al-Qadisiyah region, located more than 140 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baghdad, on Tuesday, and killed 34 ISIS extremists, Iraq’s al-Sumaria satellite TV network reported.
The source said that the slain militants had been hiding in several houses across the area, adding that a senior commander of the pro-government Popular Mobilization units and a police officer were also killed during the heavy exchange of fire with the ISIS militants. Separately, nine ISIS terrorists were killed in another encounter with Iraqi security forces in the Shuhada district of Hayy al-Qadisiyah region. A French citizen clad in an explosives-laden vest was among the militants killed in the gunfight.
A local official, requesting anonymity, said Iraqi security forces continue combing Hayy al-Qadisiyah region in search of ISIS elements, and dismantling improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as booby-trapped houses.
Meanwhile, some 600 fighters from Bani Qais tribe are set to join government forces as well as Popular Mobilization units in the operation to take back the northern oil-city of Baiji, located some 210 kilometers north of Baghdad, from ISIS gangs.
On March 31, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said government forces, supported by Shia and Sunni volunteer fighters, had wrested control of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad, from ISIS extremists.