BAGHDAD, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Four Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Friday in an operation in Iraq's western province of Anbar, the Iraqi military said in a statement.
Acted on intelligence reports, a paramilitary force from the Sunni Arab tribes, affiliated with the government-backed Hashid Shaabi forces, carried out an operation in the desert area and clashed with the extremist militants, leaving four IS militants killed, according to the statement issued by the Security Media Cell, a media outlet affiliated with the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.
The force destroyed a vehicle used by IS militants and seized another, the statement said.
IS militants are still active in the vast Anbar desert that stretches to the Iraqi borders with neighboring countries of Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. They are infiltrating Iraq from Syria across the nearly 600 km border in an attempt to regroup again.
Over the past months, Iraqi security forces have carried out operations to crack down on extremist militants' intensified activities.
The security situation in Iraq has improved since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, IS remnants have since sneaked into urban centers, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.