Diyala (IraqiNews.com) – An Iraqi governmental source said on Monday that Islamic State snipers shot dead seven security men in Diyala province.
Speaking to the Arabic-language Baghdad Today news website, the source said that seven army and police personnel were killed in sniper attacks by Islamic State in al-Waqf basin, 25 km northeast of Baqubah.
The source warned that the security situation in Diyala is still unstable due to the presence of Islamic State cells in several villages, calling on the government to immediately intervene to put an end to the terrorist attacks in the province.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi governmental source said on Sunday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave the Iraqi government the green light to bombard Islamic State positions inside the Syrian territories without taking permission from Damascus.
Under Assad’s directives, the Iraqi warplanes will be able to enter the Syrian territories and bombard sites of Islamic State without waiting for the approval of the Syrian government, RT quoted the source as saying.
However, Assad made it clear that the Iraqi government should inform the Syrian side first before launching any attacks against IS sites in Syria.
Assad received on Saturday a message from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on means of boosting bilateral relations in various fields.
The message, conveyed by Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad, focused on the developments of relations between the two countries and the necessity of continuing coordination between them at all levels, particularly in the field of combating terrorism along borders between the two states, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.
He further affirmed the importance of continuing this cooperation and coordination to completely eliminate the remnants of Islamic State terrorist cells, who are still active in some Syrian and Iraqi regions.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.