The Iraqi army has launched a new operation in the north of Salahuddin Province and the south of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, in their latest push against Daesh terrorists.
Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi announced the beginning of the offensive on Saturday, one day after the liberation of the nearby strategic city of Fallujah from the grip of the Takfiri Daesh militants.
The Iraqi army artillery targeted positions held by terrorists in several villages in northern Salahuddin.
A Daesh command base was also completely destroyed in airstrikes conducted on the Salahuddin’s Shirqat district.
Meanwhile, an unnamed Iraqi military source said security forces have managed to retake a village and advance five kilometers toward the Makhul mountainous area as well as the Hamrin Mountains in northern Salahuddin.
The Iraqi forces also wrested control over another village in northwest of the Baiji oil refinery, hoisting the Iraqi flag on a central building in the village.
They further demolished two bomb-laden Daesh vehicles, which were meant to prevent army advances near the oil refinery.
In another development on Saturday, unidentified gunmen attacked the Amirli prison in eastern Tikrit, the capital of the Salahuddin Province.
Iraqi media reported that the assaults left four policemen wounded. In addition, six assailants were killed, while four others sustained injuries. Some 60 people are currently held in the jail.
Furthermore, there were reports of clashes between the Iraqi security forces and Daesh extremists in the Tooz district of Salahuddin and the town of Amirli.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.
Iraqi soldiers gesture in center of Fallujah, Iraq, June 17, 2016. ©Reuters
On Friday, the Iraqi army managed to raise the national flag on the main government complex in Fallujah after entering the city without facing significant resistance from Daesh terrorists.
Later in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the nation on the liberation of Fallujah, saying there is no place in the country for Daesh elements.
On May 23, Iraqi forces launched a massive military operation to take back Fallujah, a city in Anbar Province located roughly 69 kilometers west of the capital Baghdad.
During the offensive, Daesh resorted to hostage taking among the trapped civilians, using them as human shields to slow down army advances.
The Takfiri extremists have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.