Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Seventeen Islamic State militants, including leaders, were killed in artillery shelling in west of Mosul, an Iraqi army official said on Tuesday.
“An army artillery unit targeted IS strategic and tactic sites by 12 missile strikes on Tuesday at al-Beshmata village, in Tal Afar, depending on intelligence information,” Lt.Gen. Ali al-Daini, told Anadolu Agency.
“The strikes killed each of Abi al-Hareth al-Ahmadi, an Iraqi national from Mosul, who used to be in charge of the security protection in Tal Afar, Abi Ali al-Afari, an Iraqi national who was in charge of booby-trapping workshops and bombs manufacturing and Zidan Jamal al-Jirba, a prominent leader in the town and a main geographical expert there,” Daini added.
Such operations, according to Daini, “have the biggest impact in destroying the group’s fighting capabilities.They also allow the ground troops deployed at the boundaries of the town to go through the battles with minimal losses.
An Iraqi army source was quoted saying on Tuesday as saying that the army’s ninth armored division arrived to boundaries of the town ahead of anticipated battle to free it from IS.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry declared conclusion of arrangements ahead of military invasion of the town. An army official was quoted as saying that an army division was ordered to leave Mosul toward Tal Afar within preparations to retake the town, which has been set as the next target of operations after victory was declared in Mosul on July 10.