“The 19th brigade launched a security operation in southwestern Kirkuk, arresting three IS terrorists,” Ayn Al Iraq News website quoted Federal Police Chief Raed Shawkat Gawdat as saying.
“Among those arrested was a senior Islamic State intelligence official, who was responsible for providing the terrorists with information about citizens to kidnap them,” Gawdat noted.
Iraqi security forces, backed by paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi and Peshmerga fighters, had launched a military operation dubbed Martyrs’ Revenge to chase Islamic State militants at their hotbeds in Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin provinces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared last December final victory over Islamic State three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
In a speech during the international media conference held at the journalists syndicate in Baghdad, Abadi said, “Our troops gained full control on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. We announce the end of war against Islamic State.”
Abadi’s announcement came two days after Russia announced a similar victory over Islamic State militants in neighboring Syria. Abadi declared Dec. 10 an annual national holiday on this occasion.