Irbil- After being removed from Tal Afar, hundreds of Arab and foreign ISIS militants escaped to the town of al-Ayadiya in the north of Iraq, their last refuge in the Nineveh province, where Iraqi forces besieged them on Monday.
“Hundreds of Arab and foreign ISIS militants were now taking shelter in al-Ayadiya,” according to Iraqi security forces.
Commander of the Iraqi Army’s 2nd regiment in Battalion 92 of team 15, Lieutenant Colonel Ribuwar Aziz told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday: “The military sectors are fiercely fighting the terrorist militants in al-Ayadiya.
We were capable to liberate towns located on the outskirts of the area. Currently, our forces are pushing toward the center of the town.”
Aziz said that ISIS militants have no way left out of al-Ayadiya, adding that they could either surrender themselves or get killed.
Similar to other battles fought by ISIS in the past years in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group used on Monday explosive cars and suicide bomber attacks to halt the advancement of the Iraqi forces.
US-led coalition warplanes with the help of Iraqi land and air forces were capable to destroy the majority of those cars, leaving immense losses in the ranks of ISIS.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish Peshmerga Command operating in the western part of Dijlah said its forces foiled ISIS militants, including suicide bombers, from infiltrating to one town in the area, revealing that clashes that erupted between their forces and ISIS militants led two suicide bombers to blow themselves up.
Media official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul Saeed Mamouzini told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Peshmerga forces killed more than 15 ISIS militants.
The recuperation of al-Ayadiya from ISIS would signal taking full control of the Nineveh province from the terrorist organization, after previously liberating Mosul, the second largest city in the country.
According to AFP, the terrorist group now only controls the city of Hawija, about 300 km north of Baghdad, and desert areas along the border with Syria.