Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Fourteen Islamic State militants were killed on Thursday as fighter jets bombarded their explosives factory in western Mosul, an official security source said.
The source told Shafaaq News that the militants were killed in an airstrike by aircraft from the U.S-led military coalition that targeted a textile factory in al-Somoud district, which was used by the extremist group as a workshop for manufacturing explosives and vehicle booby-trapping.
Iraqi government forcesm, backed by the coalition and paramilitary troops, drove Islamic State militants out of eastern Mosul late January after three months of fighting, and are preparing to cross the Tigris River to the western section where militants are well-entrenched. Though surviving militants escaped to the group’s western strongholds, many have waged several attacks on the eastern areas over the past weeks, killing civilians and security personnel at recaptured areas.
On Tuesday, the head of the Pentagon’s special operations, Gen. Raymond Thomas, said in a conference in Washington D.C that 60.000 Islamic State fighters had been killed in two years during operations by the U.S. coalition. Coalition generals have, however, predicted a more difficult battle in the west of the city given the density of the population and the need to ensure civilians’ safety.