BAGHDAD, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Up to 39 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in an anti-IS operation in the Iraqi province of Salahudin, the Iraqi military said on Tuesday.
Acting on intelligence reports, the commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), backed by the international coalition aircraft, conducted several airdrop operations in al-Khanogah mountainous area in the town of al-Shirqat, some 280 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the media office affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
The battles between the commandos and the extremist militants lasted more than 10 hours, starting from Monday night until Tuesday morning and resulted in the killing of 39 IS militants, including some of the group leaders, the statement said.
The troops and the coalition aircraft destroyed two hideouts that stored large quantities of weapons and ammunition, as well as computers and documents of the extremist group, the JOC statement added.
Four CTS commandos were also wounded during the offensive, the statement said.
Earlier in the day, Mohammed al-Bazi from Salahudin provincial police told Xinhua that the Iraqi forces and CTS commandos, with the support of the international coalition aircraft, conducted an operation against IS positions in al-Khanogah mountainous area and killed eight IS militants, while a CTS commando was killed and five security members were wounded.
The security situation in Iraq has been improved since Iraqi security forces fully defeated the IS militants across the country late in 2017.
However, IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.