Qaim (IraqiNews.com) Warplanes from the United States-led coalition killed 40 Islamic State militants west of Anbar as operations approach for the recapture of the group’s last havens in Iraq.
Alghad Press quoted a security source saying that the fighter jets pounded militants’ locations near the “phosphate company” in the town of Qaim, killing 40 members.
More than 15 vehicles belonging to the militants were destroyed in the raid, according to the source.
Since Islamic State militants took over large areas of Iraq and Syria to establish a self-styled “caliphate” in 2014, Iraqi government forces, backed paramilitary troops and U.S.-led coalition, launched a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions.
So far, the offensives managed to retake Mosul, the group’s former capital, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija and Anbar’s Annah. Only Qaim and neighboring Rawa currently remain in IS grip.
Local authorities and human rights agencies believe Islamic State members are holding tens of thousands of civilians in western Anbar as future human shields, having killed hundreds for attempting to escape.
A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 196 civilians were killed, while 381 others were wounded due to violence and armed conflicts during the month of September.