Iraqi warplanes kill 27 Islamic State members in Anbar

F-16 fighter jets file photo.

Anbar ( Iraqi army fighter jets killed 27 Islamic State members in an air raid carried out on Wednesday, a senior paramilitary commander was quoted saying.

Qatari al-Samarmad, a commander at Anbar’s mobilization forces, was quoted by IkhNews saying that army warplanes pounded an Islamic State hideout in Wadi Hawran, west of the province, killing 27 militants, including foreign nationals.

He said a number of vehicles and a restroom belonging to the militants were also destroyed in the raid.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq earlier this month with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

Speaking during a weekly press briefing at the cabinet’s building in Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi pointed that security forces had cleared “14,000 square kilometers” of al-Jazirah, a desert region surrounded by Anbar, Salahuddin and Nineveh provinces, from Islamic State vestiges.

“At a military level, Islamic State in Iraq is over,” Abadi declared. He had said that final victory over IS would be proclaimed after al-Jazirah is totally cleared.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by the coalition, launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.

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