Coalition jets kill 9 militants in western Mosul, IS continues to burn homes

Smoke rises during a battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Nineveh ( Fighter jets from the U.S.-led military coalition killed nine senior Islamic State members in western Mosul on Tuesday, while the group continues to burn civilians’ homes, according to an Iraqi officer.

Col. Dureid Saeed, from the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces, told Bas News that the strikes killed the militants in al-Islah al-Zerai district. He added that the extremist group continued to burn civilian-owned homes, with the latest round of fires arsons seen at ten houses evacuated from their dwellers in al-Rafai district.

Security officers and civilians say IS burn homes in a bid to create smokescreens that blur vision for assaulting aircraft.

Rafai district in western Mosul (Google Maps)

Iraqi government forces recaptured eastern Mosul from Islamic State on January 24th after three months of battles. Security commanders recently said they became in control of 30 percent of western Mosul since another offensive launched in February to retake the region.

Iraqi troops have made remarkable victories in the west by recapturing major government facilities, a military base and the city’s airport. Iraqi and coalition generals have predicted the city to be free within six months from the beginning of battles. Though admitting fierce resistance from IS, the commanders believe the group, currently deprived from escape routes, have no other option but to fight to death.

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