Baghdad, Jun 13 (IANS): Iraqi security forces have launched an operation to clear the Islamic State (IS) militants from the rural areas in the eastern province of Diyala, the military said.
The operation was launched on Saturday by a joint force comprising the Iraqi army, police, and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi, in an agricultural area south of Diyala's capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of the capital Baghdad, a provincial spokesman told Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, Tahseen al-Khafaji, spokesman of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, told the local media that the forces "have been working for some time in the border areas with Syria by setting up towers and thermal cameras for surveillance to prevent the extremist militants from infiltrating from neighbouring Syria".
IS terrorists are still active in the vast Anbar desert that stretches to the borders with Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
The militants have been infiltrating into Iraq across the border in an attempt to regroup in the country again.
The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants in 2017.