Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi says it has, in cooperation with the army, launched an operation against the remnants of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the country’s eastern Diyala Province.
In a statement released on Sunday, the PMU media bureau announced that the campaign is aimed at purging Hamrin Mountains of Daesh militants, al-Sumaria news channel reported.
According to the statement, the Iraqi forces will move from eight directions to the targets designated in the area between the Baghdad-Kirkuk road and the path leading to Tiba village.
Meanwhile, a security source told Arabic-language al-Ahed news website that the PMU’s 4th brigade had managed to besiege aDaesh base called the Aicha camp in Hemrin Mountains.
An artillery unit has also started shelling the camp, and the PMU forces will kick off a land operation in a few hours.
A number of local Daesh ringleaders are said to have taken refuge at the camp.
Additionally on Sunday, the PMU launched a separate campaign in Badush Mountains in the northern Nineveh Province.
The resistance group said that the operation covered the territory between the Badush mountain range, the hills in the Mosul sector, and the borders of Duhok Province to “pursue the remnants of ISIS (Daesh) and destroy their headquarters,” Shafaq news agency reported.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
Hashd al-Sha’abi played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had initially suffered heavy setbacks in the face of Daesh gains.
Iraq declared victory over Daesh in December 2017 after a three-year counter-terrorism military campaign, which also had the support of neighboring Iran.
The terror outfit’s remnants, however, keep staging sporadic attacks across Iraq, attempting to regroup and unleash a new era of violence.
Daesh has intensified its attacks in Iraq since January 2020, when the United States assassinated top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and PMU’s deputy commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, near Baghdad International Airport.