By Ali Jawad
BAGHDAD (AA) - The Iraqi army has recaptured two oilfields from the Daesh terrorist group in an ongoing security operation in the northern Tuz Khurmatu district, Iraq’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.
“Backed by the [U.S.-led] coalition, our security forces raided 12 villages near Tuz Khurmatu,” the ministry-run Joint Operations Command said in a statement.
“Search operations led to the killing of two terrorists and the dismantling of seven explosive devices in the area,” read the statement.
“Two oilfields containing four wells were also retaken during the operation,” it added.
Since Wednesday, Iraqi forces have been hunting down Daesh remnants in the Hamrin Mountain region, which stretches from Kirkuk and Saladin -- in which Tuz Khurmatu is located -- to the Diyala province and the Iranian border.
The operation in Tuz Khurmatu comes despite past assertions by Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that Daesh’s presence in the country was limited to a handful of “sleeper cells”.
After overrunning vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq in 2014, the terrorist group has recently suffered a string of defeats at the hands of the Iraqi army and an international U.S.-led military coalition.