A senior religious leader in the Islamic State group has been killed in Diyala province on Monday, a security committee said.
Speaking to Alsumaria News, Chairman of the Security Committee in the Council of Diyala Sadeq al-Husseini said, “The so-called Islamic State mufti and a number of his companions were killed as Iraqi troops and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) fighters carried out a specific operation on the outskirts of Houd al-Zour area (45 km northeast of Baqubah) in Diyala on Sunday evening.”
Husseini added that a total of 30 Islamic State leaders were killed in Diyala in 2017, praising efforts exerted by the Iraqi intelligence to pursuit and monitor IS cells in the province.
On Sunday, Husseini announced killing an IS emir in an operation northeast of Diyala.
“IS lost a new emir in Neft Khana basin, northeast of Baquba, in an operation carried out by army jets,” Husseini said, adding that joint troops managed over two days to eradicate three havens of IS in Wadi Thelab and Hawi al-Udhaim.
Thousands of IS militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since a government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.
Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and each of Annah, Rawa and Qaim in Anbar.
The war against IS has so far displaced at least five million people. Thousands others fled toward neighboring countries including Syria, Turkey and other European countries.