An airstrike carried out by the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition in a remote village outside Mosul killed four members of an unnamed armed group, the Iraqi military said on Saturday.
“According to accurate information, the killing of four terrorists from the elements of gangs came as a result of an air strike by the international coalition south of the village of Manayef within Nineveh Province,” read a statement.
Though the Islamic State was not mentioned specifically, its fighters were presumably the targets.
The strikes were part of a large new military operation against the group in western Iraq. On Sunday, Iraqi security forces announced that they had embarked on the new campaign in multiple locations of semi-desert terrain located near the Syrian border.
The area, located across the provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin, and Anbar, are known together as the “desert triangle,” a security source told Kurdistan 24.
Since the fall of the former regime in 2003, the area has been used as a launching pad by multiple insurgent groups to attack Iraqi security forces and civilian targets.
The military campaign against remaining members of the Islamic State is just the latest major one carried out by Iraqi security forces, with the participation of both Shia Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) militias and their local Sunni counterparts, according to an announcement released by the deputy commander of the joint operation, Major General Abdul-Amir Yarallah. Additional support, he continued, was being provided by US-led coalition aircraft.
Four PMF militiamen were killed by an explosion on Friday as Iraqi forces began a separate new operation targeting Islamic State fighters in the eastern province of Diyala.
Despite such concerted efforts, the extremist group remains active and carries out regular attacks in surrounding areas, especially in villages and out-of-the-way regions where security forces have difficulty monitoring its fighter’s movements.
Though Iraq declared victory against the Islamic State in December 2017, it continues to carry out attacks which include bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in several provinces across the nation.