Iraqi air force claims killing 2200 IS members in western Mosul

F16 fighter jets.

Baghdad ( Iraqi fighter jets have killed 2200 Islamic State members in air raids since operations sat out to clear western Mosul from militants, the Iraqi air force said in a statement on Monday.

Those were killed in 600 combat strikes launched by the force since the campaign launched mid February to retake western Mosul, according to the statement made by a spokesperson, Col. Mohamed al-Fartousi.

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants alongside the Iraqi government had, however, estimated the total of militants remaining in Mosul by 2000.

The strikes destroyed 150 havens, 28 booby-trapped vehicles, 59 vehicles and ten booby-trapped house, according to Fartousi.

A total of 4000 air raids have been carried out since operations to retake Mosul launched in October 2016.

Iraqi government troops recaptured eastern Mosul in January and are working to retake the western side of the city, making a remarkable progress by recapturing major government facilities, the city’s airport and a major military base. They are currently pushing deeper against IS in central Mosul’s Old City.

Iraqi U.S.-led coalition generals had predicted the campaign to realize final victory in western Mosul within six months from the start of operations, reiterating that the extremist group’s powers had been waning in face of continuous strikes and security advances.

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