Iraqi Army kills ISIS militants in eastern Iraq

AA
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Iraqi Army kills ISIS militants in eastern Iraq

BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces announced the killing of 29 militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in Iraq's eastern city Baqubah.

"Iraqi forces killed 17 militants of ISIS, including 9 snipers, in the north east of the city of Baquba," Commander of the "Tigris Operations" in eastern province Diyala Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Mohammad Reza Zaidi told the Anadolu Agency.

He said 12 other ISIS militants have been killed and eight of their vehicles destroyed in continuing clashes in Al Adhim, 50 kilometers from Baquba.

Late on Sunday, Iraq's Air Force raided south of Mosul, northern Iraq, killing five people, three children and two women, and wounding 10, reported a local official on Monday.

Iraq's Air Force on Monday carried out a series of raids on targets believed to strongholds for ISIL and their allies in northern Iraq's Salahuddin province, according to a tribal source.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians fled the province's main two towns, Tikrit and Samarra, as the Air Force targeted areas close to Tikrit and Iraqi capital Baghdad, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

"ISIS militants are still in Salahuddin province and they are taking more control of villages and areas close to the capital Baghdad," Khudair Rahman, a tribal leader in Samarra, told the AA.

Near Tikrit, local residents recovered the bodies of five Iraqi soldiers, who were executed by armed groups, from the Tigris River, the captain of military operations in Samarra told the AA.

Earlier on Monday, militants led by ISIS took complete control of northwestern Iraqi district Tal Afar according to a security source.

Hundreds of families fled the city in northern province Ninawa after clashes between militants and security forces backed by Turkmen tribal fighters on Sunday.

In the last 24 hours eight Iraqi soldiers have been killed a number captured in eastern province Diyala, which borders Iran. A tribal source said an armed group, with the backing of armed tribesmen, had clashed with the soldiers and seized the areas of Muqdadiyah, Jalula and Saadia in the province's north.

On Sunday, 10 civilians were killed and 40 injured in a mortar attack, believed to have been carried out by ISIS militants, according to a medical source.

Turkmen tribesmen, who constitute the majority in the city, formed vigilante groups after ISIS-led forces seized the provincial capital, Mosul.

On Friday, Some 8,000 Turkmen fighters have already joined the Iraqi army's ranks to fight ISIL militants, according to a tribal source.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AA: "Youths from the tribes are doing joint patrols with Iraqi security forces inside and outside the city of Tal Afar to counter any possible attack from ISIS."

ISIS militants also controlled regions in western district Al Qaim, near the border with Syria, said a security source.

Al-Maliki

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Sunday that Iraqi forces had regained "the initiative and began to crawl against ISIS forces." He was speaking to a crowd of volunteer fighters in Baghdad's southern district Mahmudiya.

"Some political failures in Iraq and other states are supporting ISIS group," said Maliki.

Addressing the volunteers, he said: "your mission does not end by purging ISIS militants and pro-ISIL politicians, your mission is the formation of the Iraqi army."

Iraqi national security adviser Faleh Alfayadh announced Sunday that Maliki had ordered the creation of a system for recruiting civilians to fight against radical militants who have seized control of northern parts of the country. He also denied the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Iraq.

The attack came as Iraq continues to suffer from increased sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which the Iraqi government has blamed on the ISIS.

ISIS, which developed into a formidable force inside Syria, extended its reach into Iraq after gaining near-complete control of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit and seizing Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday.

The group seized large swathes of western Iraq's Anbar Province in January, including much of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, flashpoints of the US-led war in 2003.

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