Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Dozens of Islamic State members were killed on Tuesday in airstrikes by U.S.-led international coalition fighter jets in western Mosul, according to a local source.
Alsumaria News quoted the source as saying that dozens of IS extremists were killed and wounded in intense airstrikes on al-Jawsaq district, a major stronghold for the group in western Mosul. “The strike destroyed the headquarter completely,” said the source.
The group prevented civilians from approaching the strike’s scene fearing that information about the death toll might be leaked, the source noted.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared a new security offensive on Sunday to invade the western region of Mosul and drive out Islamic State militants. Government forces retook the eastern region late January after three months of battles.
Commanders have said they had recaptured nearly 17 villages in that region since operations launched on Sunday.
Mosul fell in IS’s grip in 2014, along with several other Iraqi regions. Losing Mosul, the previously-proclaimed capital of IS’s “Islamic Caliphate”, will be the hardest blow to its existence in Iraq.
Military officials from the international coalition had predicted the city to be recaptured entirely within six months.
The United Nations had warned battles could displace 250.000 people in the western region.