Iraqi Army Soldiers Killed in Counter-Terror Operation North of Baghdad

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Four Iraqi army soldiers were killed in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad, during a counter-terrorism operation that prevented a terrorist attack by remnants of the Takfiri Daesh group.

The terrorists had planned to target the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who had gathered in the Kadhimiya district for the annual commemoration of the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Musa al-Kazim, the seventh Shia Imam and great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

According to Iraqi media reports, an army unit raided a Daesh hideout, killing three terrorists, one of whom was wearing an explosive belt. However, two officers and two soldiers were killed in the attack when the belt was detonated.

Lieutenant General Ahmed Salim, the commander of security forces in Baghdad, said the raid had foiled a terrorist plan to target the pilgrims of Imam al-Kazim, adding that Iraqi army units are still searching the area.

Daesh launched a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast areas in lightning attacks. However, the group was declared defeated by Iraqi authorities in December 2017 after a three-year counter-terrorism military campaign, with the assistance of the PMU (Hashd al-Sha’abi). Despite this, Daesh remnants continue to stage sporadic attacks across Iraq, attempting to regroup and unleash fresh violence.

Daesh has intensified its attacks in Iraq since January 2020, following the assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and PMU’s deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport.

This led to increased anti-US sentiment in Iraq and prompted Iraqi lawmakers to pass a bill requiring the end of the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US. The US was forced to end its “combat mission” in Iraq by the end of 2021, but Iraqi resistance groups demand the end of the Pentagon’s advisory role as well.

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