Tarmiyah: An Iraqi Air Force strike reportedly killed several Islamic State (IS) fighters on 17 June in a largely agricultural area less than an hour’s drive north of Baghdad and “destroyed hideouts” of the group here.
Ten days before, the spokesperson of the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Yahia Rasoul had announced the killing also in Tarmiyah of four other suspected IS fighters including the ‘wali’, or governor, of the group for northern Baghdad.
Photos showed a bloodied male body placed on the hood of a military vehicle with sweaty, tired soldiers crowded around making victory signs.
Palm groves and fields, officials say, are used by remnants of the transnational terrorist organization to hide in.
“They were hiding inside a farmer’s corn crops,” a local security official told Al Majalla about suspected IS fighters killed in a June 25 clash with Iraqi forces in the Kirkuk province further north.
“They engaged them for 6 hours continuously,” he claimed, noting that one officer in the security forces had been “martyred” in the clashes. He gave Al Majalla the names of two of the alleged IS fighters killed but said that the identity of the third was unknown.
Uptick in attacks
A sharp uptick has been seen in attacks and operations in the Kirkuk province in the month of June. Several Iraqi soldiers have been killed in the attacks.
For example, on 11 June, two officers – a lieutenant colonel and a first lieutenant – were killed in a pre-dawn attack in the province. Others were wounded.
The ability of IS cells to remain active so close to the capital and in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, still disputed between the Kurdistan Region and the central government in Baghdad, continues to raise concern.