ERBIL — The US Central Command in a press release has said that dozens of anti-terror operations were carried out in Iraq and Syria during September and October, killing more than a dozen fighters of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group and capturing dozens more.
"United States Central Command, along with coalition and other partners, conducted a total of 79 D-ISIS operations resulting in 13 ISIS operatives killed and 78 detained," the press release said on Monday.
Among those captured by U.S. coalition and partner forces were prominent ISIS leaders and members to include: fighters, facilitators, and members of attack and sleeper cells plotting to release ISIS prisoners held in local prisons with the intent of replenishing their ranks."
The statement also reaffirmed US commitment to an enduring defeat of the Jihadist group: "These operations highlight our enduring commitment to the lasting defeat of ISIS and the continued need for targeted military efforts to prevent ISIS members from conducting attacks and regaining a foothold."
The Islamic State has a scattered presence in Iraq, with members consistently hiding in marshlands, caves, and remote rural areas to avoid detection. They are especially active in the disputed Kurdish territories, in Kirkuk province in particular, primarily due to the security vacuum that emerged after pro-Iranian Hashd al-Shaabi militia groups took control of the province in 2017.