Airstrike kills 15 IS militants, western Mosul

Smoke rises after an airstrike, during the battle against Islamic State militants, at the district of al-Mamoun in Mosul, Iraq, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani – RTS10XG7

Mosul ( Fifteen Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike in al-Hadar region in Nineveh, western Mosul, according to Iraqi government.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said on Wednesday that “an airstrike targeted a gathering of IS militants in al-Shaihan village, al-Hadar area, depending on federal investigations and information.”

“The raid left 15 IS militants including three leaders killed including security and administrative officials of the so-called Wilayat al-Jazeera. Others were injured as they were intending to launch attack at several areas,” the statement added.

The army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) declared storming two districts of al-Abar and al-Tanak in western Mosul. 17 IS members were killed, while six female members of different Arab nationalities were wounded.

Iraqi government forces announced earlier on Wednesday resumption of military operations in Central Mosul, after being suspended for few days.

Eastern Mosul was recaptured in January after an offensive was launched in October by the Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition. Another offensive was launched in mid-February to retake the west.

Battles in the west are believed to be much more difficult due to the density of residential areas and the high number of civilians who the commanders believe are used as human shields by IS members.

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