Iraq’s Rapid Response Division arrives to Tuz Khurmato in anticipation of counter-terrorism operation against ‘The White Flags’

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Recent photo of Brigade 11 during cleansing operations around Hawija.
Recent photo of Brigade 11 during cleansing operations around Hawija.

Earlier today, it was announced that additional units of the Rapid Response Division had arrived to the city of Tuz Khurmato. Prior to entering the region, the Iraqi Security Forces collected intelligence regarding the ‘White Flags’ threat coming from the mountains east of the city after repeated mortar attacks. It should be noted that a Joint Operations Room has been set up to oversee activity along with the appointment of a new military commander after Rapid Response assumed the responsibilities of the local Popular Mobilization Units inside the city. The entrance of federal units is essential to defusing Turkmen-Kurdish tensions which have been ongoing for the past two years.

Yesterday, a video was uploaded by soldiers from the Rapid Response Division, regarding the operation

Rapid Response troops outlining their operation against Kurdish Islamist group ‘The White Flags’ in Tuz Khurmato and it’s ties to ISIS in the area

It was also specifically noted that Brigade 11 of the Popular Mobilization Forces (also known as Greater Ali Brigade) would be participating in the upcoming operation as part of a joint force which also involves Brigades 16 and 52 of the Northern Axis. Brigade 11 is regarded as one of the larger units in the Popular Mobilization Forces and just recently completed a major cleansing operation involving villages northeast of Hawija to the outskirts of Kirkuk city. As a result, the Hawija-Kirkuk road is expected to be opened in the coming days.

Recent photo of Brigade 11 during cleansing operations around Hawija.
Recent photo of Brigade 11 during cleansing operations around Hawija.

The General Command of the Armed Forces stated that the upcoming operation will start from the mountains east of Tuz Khurmato and extend to the Iranian border, but it remains to be seen if it will be carried out to the full extent due to the proximity of the 2003 lines.

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