The governor of Iraq’s northern central province of Salahudin warned on Monday of a possible security setback with increasing attacks from Islamic State (IS) militants in the province.

Iraq“The towns of Dour, Alam and Samarra have witnessed almost daily attacks by the militants of Daesh (IS), leaving many civilians and security members killed and wounded, in addition to burning houses and destroying power transmission lines,” Governor Ahmed al-Jubouri said in a statement issued by his office.

The ground forces in Salahudin are not capable of repulsing the attacks of the IS militants given the large number of extremist militants moving in the vast rugged area of the eastern part of the province, Jubouri said.

He also said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, must take “fast and decisive action” to retake control of the eastern areas of the province.

In Oct. 2016, security forces and allied paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units carried out an operation to take control of the main IS redoubt in Mteibijah area, some 100 km southeast of Salahudin’s provincial capital of Tikrit.

The operation in Mteibijah was designed to take control of the whole area, where hundreds of IS militants were hiding, to prevent them from attacking civilian and military targets in Salahudin and neighboring Diyala provinces.

However, security forces only retook control of part of the rugged sprawling areas in eastern Salahudin.

Also in the day, a member of the Hashd Shaabi unit was killed and three others wounded in a roadside bomb attack near their vehicle at a village near the town of Baiji, some 170 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The predominately Sunni Arab province of Salahudin has been the scene of a major offensive by Iraqi security forces and allied Hashd Shaabi units, which managed to retake control of the province from the hands of IS militants who seized large part of it in June 2014.

Jubouri’s warning came as the Iraqi security forces, backed by an anti-IS international coalition, are carrying out a major offensive to push out IS militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul, some 400 km north of Bagdad. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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