Airstrike kills 4 Islamic State militants in Iraq’s Nineveh

Representational photo.

Nineveh ( – Four Islamic State militants were killed on Saturday in an airstrike that targeted their hotbed in Nineveh province, the Iraqi military announced.

“A force of the 20th division of the Nineveh Operations Command came under attack by a group of Islamic State militants during a security operation in Atshana Mountains in Nineveh,” Ayn Al Iraq website quoted the Security Media Center as saying in a statement.

“The assailants fled the scene after the attack into a tunnel at the Atshana Mountains,” the statement read, adding that the U.S.-led international coalition later launched an airstrike targeting the tunnel, killing four Islamic State militants.

Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi announced in August 2017 that Nineveh province was fully liberated from Islamic State after the district of Tal Afar was recaptured.

The announcement came after the defeat of the jihadist group in the town of Ayadiya, where the militants had fled to from Tal Afar.

Islamic State militants seized control of much of Nineveh, including the provincial capital of Mosul, in June 2014.

The Iraqi government launched an operation to retake Tal Afar on 20 August involving some 50,000 personnel from the army, air force, federal police, special forces and the Shia Muslim-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces.

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