Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Prominent Islamic State leader has been killed in an airstrike that targeted Hawija, in Kirkuk province, according to Diyala provincial council’s security committee.
In remarks to reporters on Wednesday, Sadeq al-Husseini, head of the council, said “prominent IS leader in Hawija known as abu Mohamed al-Shami, a Syrian national, was killed in an airstrike that targeted a group’s location in Fudeiha village, in Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.”
“The leader was killed after communication with East Dijla Operations Command to follow him, until security personnel were able to locate him before being targeted by army fighter jets” Husseini added.
Hawija, located 55 KM west of Kirkuk, has been held by IS since mid-2014.
Last month, news reports quoted sources as saying that the extremist group opened alternative headquarters for its so-called “Nineveh State, “Dijlah State”, “Salahuddin State” and “Diyala State” in Hawija.
IS still holds three towns in western Anbar close to the borders with Syria, in addition to a few areas in Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk. The Iraqi government is expected to aim at those strongholds once the Mosul battle is concluded.
Dozens of residents from Hawija and the regions in its vicinity escape to Kirkuk province on a daily basis. Despite the risky routes to the freed regions, the civilians prefer death to staying under IS control.