Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Seventeen Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike in west of Anbar, a paramilitary official said on Saturday.
“Army jets targeted militants gathering at al-Husseiniyat region, near Wadi Hawran, north of Rutba, leaving seventeen members of foreign nationalities killed, according to our sources from the targeted region,” Qutri al-Samarmad, commander at Anbar’s mobilization forces, told SNG website.
“The militants were planning to attack the nearby military units,” he said, adding that “the targeted region is one of the places known for presence of IS sleeper cells in the western desert of Anbar.”
“The shelling depended on intelligence information that enable the jets kill the militants,” Samarmad said.
Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command said in remarks on Friday that the second phase of operations to clear borders near Syria from Islamic State militants will launch soon. An area of 14,000 out of 29,000 square kilometers in the desert has been cleared by IS militants.
On Wednesday, Samarmad was quoted saying that army warplanes pounded an IS hideout in Wadi Hawran, west of the province, killing 27 militants, including foreign nationals.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during his weekly press in November that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.
Earlier in November, Iraqi forces recaptured Anbar’s western town of Rawa, the very last bastion under Islamic State control.