Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army warplanes and paramilitary forces killed 38 Islamic State militants during operations at areas west of Mosul and near the Syrian borders on Tuesday.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said warplanes killed 25 IS members at gatherings in Tel Fares, Baaj and Badush region west Mosul. Three vehicles carrying guns were destroyed in the strike, according to the media outlet.
Popular Mobilization Units also said they killed 13 suicide bombers from IS at Mahalabiya, Tel Zalat and Adaya, west of Mosul
Coincidentally with government troops operations in Mosul, army warplanes have been backing PMU operations against IS holdouts near the Syrian borders, most notably at the Qairawan and Baaj regions. Earlier on Tuesday, PMU media said its forces had begun to dig trenches along the Syrian borders one day after they had reached them through recapturing several villages on the way.
Iraqi forces have been approaching IS’s last entrenchment in western Mosul in the Old City since late April. Operations to recapture western Mosul launched on February 19th. Eastern Mosul was liberated in January. Iraqi generals had predicted the city to be recaptured before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, which began Saturday, but more recently put the expected date back to June 10th, the anniversary of the city’s fall in IS control in 2014.