Iraqi forces deployed in Samarra after botched IS attack
A military force headed towards the city, north of Baghdad, in the early hours of Monday in an attempt to secure the perimeter of the city and all roads leading to it, a source told The New Arab.
“The extra security deployment was ordered after intelligence showed dozens of IS militants were present in the Western Sahara of Samarra,” the Ministry of Defence source said.
The country’s Popular Mobilisation Forces were also involved in the new security operation, he added, noting the militia had already made more than thirty arrests as a “precautionary” measure.
"The militias have spread significantly on the western and southern sides of Samarra, up to the border with Anbar province," he said.
Iraqi MPs said Muqtada al-Sadr’s brigade, Saraya al-Salam – which operates as part of the Popular Mobilisation Unit – almost completely controls security checkpoints surrounding the city.
Meanwhile, a statement published by the PMU confirmed the militia group had arrested a senior IS leader in the province of Salah al-Din, identifying the militant as Abu Dajana.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement that "forty IS militants were killed by aerial bombardment before the group launched a large attack on visitors in the city of Samarra.”
The ministry said the militant group was preparing 12 suicide bombers and four car bombs as part of a planned attack on the city.