Iraq launches major anti-IS operation after killings 

Dubbed "Vengeance for the Martyrs", the operation will see the army, special forces, police and Kurdish peshmerga fighters hunting down IS cells in the centre of the country.

Published: 04th July 2018 03:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2018 03:39 PM   |  A+A-

Islamic State militants (File | AP)


BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces launched a major operation against remnants of the Islamic State group today following public anger over the jihadists' murder of a group of abducted civilians.

Dubbed "Vengeance for the Martyrs", the operation will see the army, special forces, police and Kurdish peshmerga fighters hunting down IS cells in the centre of the country, Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

It comes after the bodies of eight IS captives were found late last month along with a highway north of Baghdad.

Some of the abductees had appeared in a video in which IS threatened to execute them unless Baghdad released female prisoners.

The JOC statement said army, federal police, special forces, peshmerga fighters and the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force had launched "a vast operation to clear out the region east of the Diyala-Kirkuk" highway.

The operation was being supported by the Iraqi air force and the US-led coalition that intervened against IS in Iraq and Syria after the jihadists seized control of large parts of both countries in 2014.

One jihadist had already been killed and eight captured, the JOC said, and equipment including vehicles and bombs destroyed.

The operation marked the first time that federal Iraqi forces and the peshmerga were working together since clashes following last year's Kurdish independence referendum.

Iraq declared victory over IS in December after expelling the jihadists from all major towns and cities in a vast offensive.

But the Iraqi military has kept up operations targeting mostly remote desert areas from where jihadists have continued to carry out attacks.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had vowed to avenge the eight civilians killed by IS and ordered the execution of hundreds of convicted jihadists.

Thirteen jihadists on death row were executed last week.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp