BAGHDAD, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A total of seven Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Sunday in a security operation and airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, the Iraqi military said.
A joint force from the Iraqi army and paramilitary tribal fighters conducted a search operation in the south of the provincial capital Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, killing four IS militants and destroying four of their hideouts and two explosive vests, the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
In another operation west of Mosul near the border with Syria, the U.S.-led coalition aircraft carried out airstrikes against IS positions in al-Baaj area, killing three IS militants and destroying 19 hideouts, while the troops on the ground seized a vehicle and two motorcycles used by IS militants, according to the statement.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.