Acting on intelligence reports, the Iraqi helicopter gunships pounded at dawn an IS hideout at Hawdh al-Waqf area, in the northeast of Diyala‘s provincial capital Baquba, said Sadiq al-Husseini, head of security committee of the provincial council.
Hawdh al-Waqf is an agricultural area that stretches near the town of Abu Saida in northeastern Baquba, about 65 km northeast of Baghdad.
Five of the area‘s 17 villages have been the hotbed of IS militants who holed up in their farms and orchards, Husseini said.
The extremist militants have repeatedly carried out attacks against the security forces and civilians, pushing many of the villagers to ask the security forces to save their villages for the presence of the extremist groups, he added.
Despite repeated military operations in the Diyala province, remnants of IS militants are still hiding in some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the sprawling areas extending from the western part of the province to the Himreen mountain range in north of Baquba.
The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, groups and individuals of extremist militants melted or regrouped in urban and rugged areas, carrying out attacks against the security forces and civilians.