Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) A senior Islamic State member and four other aides were killed in airstrikes by the United States.-led coalition west of Mosul on Tuesday, according to an Iraqi officer.
Col. Khaled al-Jawari, from the Joint Operations Command, told BasNews that the warplanes pounded Islamic State gatherings in a public hospital and a sports playground in Tal Afar, a major bastion for the group in northwestern Mosul.
Killed in the strike were Shaker al-Afri, a senior Islamic State member, and four others, including the group’s designated area commander, according to al-Jawari.
Islamic State militants have been holding the Tal Afar town since 2014, and pro-government Popular Mobilization Units have been recapturing areas around the enclave, and isolated it from Mosul and Syria preparing for an invasion which the JOC has not yet decided whether it would assign to paramilitary or government troops.
Operations by the Popular Mobilization Units have recently managed to impose control over villages along the borderline with Syria. Meanwhile, government troops have become closer to retaking Mosul, Islamic State’s previously-proclaimed capital, where a campaign has been running since October 2016 and recently cornered a few hundreds of militants in the western side of the city.