Iraqi army finds two pilots’ bodies killed by IS in Hawija in 2016

Iraqi F-16 warplane. File photo.

Hawija ( Bodies of two pilots, who were reportedly killed by Islamic State in southwestern Kirkuk last year, have been found, the Iraqi air force said.

In a press release on Monday, the air force said, “the bodies of two pilots, who were killed as their Cessna Caravan 208 jet crashed on March 16th, 2016, in Hawija, were found.”

“The two victims were Brig. Gen. Ali Feleih Hassan al-Abboudi and Lt.Gen. Mohamed abdel Wahab Razouqi al-Sheikhli,” the statement said adding that army was able to find the bodies, in cooperation with people who knew about the place, where IS buried the victims.

Last year, the militant group claimed its members downed an Iraqi military jet, which was surveilling above Hawija.

On Saturday, the Joint Operations Command announced concluding the second phase of Hawija offensive, killing 385 IS members, including five snipers. 150 villages in Hawija were freed, in addition to al-Abbassi region and the northern side of the town. Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Hawija Operations, said Federal Police, the rapid Response forces and PMFs accomplished their targets of the second phase.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi declared last week liberation of Hawija. The second phase of the offensive was launched in late September.

According to Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell, 557 IS militants were killed, while more than 100 villages and regions were liberated during the first phase, which launched on September 24th.

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