Iraqi Troops Seize 70 Explosive Belts Within IS Hotbed in Tikrit

Iraqi Troops Seize 70 Explosive Belts Within IS Hotbed in TikritIraqi Troops Seize 70 Explosive Belts Within IS Hotbed in Tikrit

Iraqi troops have seized 70 explosive belts within a self-styled Islamic State terrorist group hotbed at a village in Tikrit city, a police spokesman was quoted as saying.

Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry Brigadier General Saad Maan said that “acting upon accurate intelligence reports, Iraqi troops discovered an Islamic State hideout at Umm al Wohoosh village in northwestern Tikrit,” Iraqi News reported.

“The shelter included 70 explosive belts, 45 bombs and 120 sticky bombs,” Maan added.

On Sunday, IS members launched an attack against the ninth brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces near al-Dour city, which left four personnel of the paramilitary troops killed and three others wounded. Three militants were also killed in the clashes.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of IS extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq and left more than 11 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Iraqi forces, backed by paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories IS had occupied. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah, Rawa and Qaim.

  Secure Airspace

Meanwhile, in a sign the country is moving back to general safety and rule of law, Iraq’s ministry of transport announced on Saturday that Kuwaiti airlines are again using Iraqi airspace, ending a three-year-old ban

It said the development comes as Iraqi airspaces “became totally secure”.

Kuwait Airways had banned its flights from passing over Iraq since the emergence of IS.

A statement by the Iraqi ministry said Kuwaiti airlines began using the Iraqi air on Friday for its flights to Europe and some Arab countries.

Director-general of the Iraqi aviation authority, Abbas Omran, said in the statement that Dutch airlines resumed flights via the Iraqi airspace days earlier, and more will follow.

Last month, UAE also ended a similar ban.


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