Iraq kills eight suspected Islamic State members in bombing in mountainous area in the north of the country

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Archive – A soldier in Iraq during the coronavirus pandemic. – Ameer Al Mohammedaw/dpa

The Iraqi Army on Tuesday killed eight suspected members of the Islamic State jihadist group in a bombing raid in the Hamrin Mountains, located in the north of the country, security sources have confirmed.

These sources have indicated in declarations to the Iraqi television channel Al Sumaria that the air attack was perpetrated after «many days of monitoring by the military intelligence» to locate targets of the jihadist group in the area.

They also stressed that agents of the anti-terrorist forces have launched a ground operation to access the site and inspect the area, as well as to recover the bodies of the suspects.

On the other hand, at least two members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – a coalition of pro-government Shiite militias backed by Iran – were killed on Tuesday in an operation in the province of Babil, as reported by the Kurdish TV channel Rudaw. During the operation, one of the suspects set off the explosives he was carrying.

Islamic State has stepped up its operations and attacks against security forces and civilians in recent months, despite its December 2017 territorial defeat in Iraq, prompting authorities to launch several operations against the jihadist group.

The group announced last week the death of its leader, Abu al-Hasan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, in an operation in Syria and confirmed Abu al-Hussein al-Huseini al-Quraishi as the new leader, with no further details on his identity. Islamic State has lost three leaders since the 2019 death of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.