Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Warplanes from the United States-led coalition killed 22 Islamic State militants in western Anbar on Saturday, a senior paramilitary leader was quoted saying.
Qatari al-Obaidi, a commander at the tribal forces in Anbar, told Alsumaria News that coalition fighter jets killed 22 members of the extremist group who were in a convoy heading to the town of Annah (210 west of Ramadi) coming from Qaim.
He said seven vehicles driven by the militants were destroyed in the raid.
Islamic State militants are still holding the towns of Qaim, Rawa and Anna, in western Anbar, since 2014, when they occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim their self-styled “caliphate”. So far, there has not been a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions, but occasional offensives by government forces and allied Popular Mobilization Forces have managed to take over several surrounding villages.
The Iraqi government declared victory over Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, in July, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts, including Anbar. Government troops are currently preparing to expel the group from Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.
Late July, Iraqi army warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages on western Anbar telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing, and advising them to stay away from militants’ deployments.