Baghdad, IRAQ– At least eight people were killed and injured in a bomb blast that rocked a northern Baghdad district, a security source was quoted as saying.
The Kuwaiti al-Watan newspaper quoted the source saying, “A roadside bomb went off in Dujail district, 70 km north of Baghdad, leaving two persons dead and six others injured.”
“Security forces cordoned off the blast site and prevented passers-by from approaching in anticipation of any other bomb attack,” the source said.
Despite the presence of Islamic State remnants in nearby areas, it is rare for the Shia-dominated Dujail district to witness bomb blasts or violent acts as it is considered one of the calmest towns in Iraq, Iraqi News reports.
The Iraqi capital has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary troops and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake Islamic State-occupied areas in 2016. Though most of the daily bombings go without a claim of responsibility, Islamic State has declared it had been behind many.
Meanwhile, America’s Freedom Fighters reported that at least 6 ISIS militants were killed in an airstrike by the U.S-led international coalition warplanes on Mosul city, a security source was quote as saying Sunday.
Speaking to Baghdad Today news website, the source said, “The U.S.-led international coalition carried out an airstrike in coordination with the Nineveh Operations Command, targeting Islamic State remnants in Badush village in northwestern Mosul.”
“The air raid left six Islamic State militants dead and one of their tunnels completely destroyed,” the source pointed out.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016. Iraqi News reports.
Since the city was declared free, security troops continue to comb western Mosul areas for hidden ISIS cells. Despite the victory over ISIS in the city, observers say Islamic State is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.
Mosul has always been an easy target for Islamic State militants, who seek to take revenge from Iraqi security forces after they lost the city earlier this year.
AFF reported that The United States military have announced that they are pulling its forces from an American-led coalition base in Iraq and shifting them over to Afghanistan following the defeat of ISIS group militants in Iraq.
The U.S. troops have been leaving the Iraq base over the past week, according to western contractors. Groups of troops have been leaving the base on daily flights.
The exact scale of the redeployment has not been revealed.
According to various estimates, as of 2016, there were more 5,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq, with nearly 4,000 deployed to support and assist local groups fighting ISIS militants. The remaining personnel included special operations forces, logistics workers and troops on temporary rotations, the BBC reported.
Iraqi officials reportedly said their government reached an agreement with the U.S.-led coalition to reduce the number of troops in Iraq.
The reported military buildup in Afghanistan is the latest sign of a growing U.S. focus on Afghanistan as the primary conflict.
The White House reportedly signed off in August on deploying an additional 4,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Fox News reports that President Donald Trump introduced a new Afghanistan strategy in August, hinting at relaxing the rules of engagement, acceleration of strikes and other military actions aimed at producing “an honorable and enduring outcome” in Afghanistan.
He warned against premature drawback of troops, referencing to the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw forces from Iraq in 2011.
“A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th.”
Since Trump took office, the number of troops has nearly doubled in Afghanistan – from 8,500 in early 2017 to 14,000 today.
God bless our heroes in the Military.