The Iraqi army said on Wednesday that eight Islamic State terrorists were apprehended during a military operation in the western province of Anbar.
“Iraqi intelligence forces launched a preemptive military operation in Znkurh and Abu Teban areas in Anbar to target Islamic State terrorists,” Baghdad Today news website quoted the country’s Military Intelligence Directorate as saying.
The troops managed to arrest eight terrorists, whose mission, according to the statement, was to collect information about the whereabouts of security forces and citizens to target them later.
The arrest was made pursuant to article no. 4 of the anti-terrorism law, added the statement.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.