Nineveh (Iraqinews.com) – Thirteen Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike by the U.S-led international coalition warplanes on a terrorist hotbed in Nineveh province, a well-placed military official was quote as saying Monday.
Speaking to Rai Alyoum news website, Major Safwan al-Obeidi, a senior officer in the Nineveh Operations Command, said, “F-16 jet fighters of the U.S.-led international coalition carried out three air raids targeting an underground hotbed for Islamic State group in the desert of Mir Qasim village in Tal Afar, 63 km west of Mosul.”
“The airstrikes left 13 Islamic State militants dead and their hotbed destroyed,” Obeidi said, adding that the hideout was used by IS militants for hiding and was equipped with modern communication equipment.
He pointed out an armored vehicle was also destroyed in the aerial bombardment.
In August, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Nineveh province has been “fully liberated” from Islamic State, after the district of Tal Afar was re-captured.
Abadi’s announcement followed the defeat of the militant group in the town of Ayadiya, where the militants had fled to from Tal Afar. The group has suffered a string of territorial losses in recent months.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Despite the victory over IS in the city, observers say Islamic State is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.