Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) A main funder of Islamic State has been killed in an armed attack in southwest of Kirkuk, a paramilitary official said on Friday.
“A main IS funder in Hawija, who has several titles including abu Hamza, was killed on Friday in an armed attack that targeted his vehicle on an agricultural road in the town. One of his companions was injured,” Jabbar al-Maamouri, of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), told AlSumaria News.
“According to the available information, the leader had money to provide the group with cash in order to secure its needs. His murder is considered another blow to the militants in Hawija,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, the Iraqi air force urged the militants to turn in themselves in airdropped thousands of messages in Hawija.
A statement by the War Media Cell said, “Air force dropped thousands of leaflets in Hawija and western coast of Shirqat warning the militants against nearing operations.”
“Iraqi and Coalition jets carried out airstrikes early on Friday in Hawija targeting the group’s weapon stash and booby-trapping workshops, which left dozens of militants killed,” another statement said.
The group reportedly cancelled Friday prayers at most of the mosques in Hawija due to being on high alert at the pivotal regions in the town
On Thursday, an IS female leader, in charge of the women’s brigade, was killed, along with her husband and two sons, as an airstrike targted the group’s camp in the northern side of the town.
Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by IS since mid-2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
Further reinforcements from the Federal Police were sent earlier this month from Baghdad to the town, as the military command declared last week, the end of operations in Tal Afar, the militants’ last haven west of Nineveh, and the approach of the launch of offensives for Hawija.