Four Islamic State militants killed in Kirkuk airstrike

US fighter jets bombing ISIS headquarters in Iraq. File Photo

Kirkuk (  Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State have killed four members of the group in southern Kirkuk, a source said on Friday.

Fighter jets, the source told Alsumaria News, pounded several IS locations in Arab Kawaz, Taza and Daqouq regions (355 km south of Kirkuk). The strikes left four militants dead and 12 others wounded, according to the source.

IS members have been in control over a handful of regions in southwest Kirkuk, most notably the town of Hawija, since 2014, when the group came to the scene, took over several Iraqi regions and proclaimed an Islamic “caliphate”.

Kirkuk, Iraq (google maps).

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, launched an offensive in October to retake the city of Mosul, Islamic State’s largest urban stronghold in Iraq. The Iraqi government is planning to aim at other IS havens across Iraq after Mosul.

Local officials in Hawija have repeatedly urged the government to hasten with the liberation of their town.

Since taking over Iraqi regions, Islamic State members have executed dozens of civilians, security members and many of its own members for various reasons ranging from collaboration with security forces to attempting to flee areas under the group’s control, most notably Hawija.


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