Iraqi violence leaves 18 dead

-Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014.
– At least 18 people, mostly militants, were killed across Iraq on Friday as Iraqi authorities were preparing to launch an offensive to dislodge the Daesh group from the northern city of Mosul, reported Anadolu Agency.

Iraqi forces shot dead seven Daesh militants as they tried to flee the Khalidiya Island in the western Anbar province, Anbar operations commander Maj. Gen. Ismail Mahlawi told Anadolu Agency.

Daesh militants, meanwhile, attacked positions of Kurdish peshmerga forces in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in the northern Saladin province.

“A peshmerga soldier and seven militants were killed in the attack,” Iraqi police officer captain Mohamed Karwan said.

In another development, two people were killed and ten others injured in tribal fighting south-east Baghdad, according to a local security source, who spoke anonymously due to restriction on speaking to media.

A bomb blast killed an Iraqi civilian and injured five others in eastern Baghdad on Friday.

Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since mid-2014, when Daesh captured Mosul and overran large swathes of territory in the northern and western parts of the country.

While the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, has managed to retake most of the territory, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country.