At least 40 ISIS fighters were killed by Iraqi security forces in southern Mosul during a major anti-terrorism operation on Sunday.
The operation, Sweeping Torrent, was carried out in Ain Al Jahesh and resulted in the killing of a commander and a media official as well as the seizure of large amounts of money and weapons that belonged to the insurgents.
“The heroic operation resulted in the killing of 42 ISIS fighters, including the so-called governor of the Tigris sector, called Baraa, his deputy Abu Mahmoud and several other significant members,” Iraqi military spokesman Yehya Rasool said on Twitter.
Fierce clashes broke out between counterterrorism forces and the terrorists for two consecutive days, Mr Rasool said.
“Security forces managed to strike the insurgents to retreat and return to the tunnels and caves in which they were hiding,” he said.
The anti-ISIS coalition and Iraqi air forces conducted the strikes.
Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi hailed the three-year victory over the insurgents in Iraq.
Mr Al Kadhimi said it “was achieved by the sacrifice of Iraqi blood” and warned against attempts to threaten the country’s stability.
Sporadic attacks continue across the country and are blamed on ISIS sleeper cells. Mosul and other northern areas have been targeted.
Much of Mosul was destroyed during the nine-month assault to liberate it from ISIS, particularly the Old City, where the militants blew up the historic Great Mosque of Al Nuri and its famous leaning Al Hadba minaret as Iraqi forces advanced.
The group's reign of terror in northern and western Iraq began in June 2014 with the capture of the northern city of Mosul, which was also the last Iraqi city to be retaken from ISIS in July 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition.
Since then ISIS remnants have been squeezed into a shrinking pocket of desert straddling the frontier between Iraq and Syria.