Iraqi warplanes kill leading Islamic State fighter, companion in Diyala

An Iraqi soldier celebrates after defeating Islamic State group

Diyala ( – A leading Islamic State (IS) fighter and one of his aides were killed in an airstrike on terrorist hotbeds in northeastern Diyala, a military commander was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Speaking to Alghad Press news website, Commander of Diyala Operations Mazhar al-Azzawi said, “Riyad al-Rabei, a leading fighter in the Islamic State group, and one of his companions were killed after Iraqi warplanes targeted a terrorist hotbed on the outskirts of Qarah Tabbah town, in northeastern Diyala.”

According to Azzawi, three hideouts and two vehicles for the Islamic State group were also destroyed in the aerial bombardment.

He pointed out that the air raid was launched upon accurate intelligence reports to destroy IS hotbeds and outposts in the province.

In January 2015, Iraqi forces announced liberation of Diyala province from Islamic State extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The province has seen months of fighting between Iraqi troops and IS militants especially in the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas in the province’s north and areas near the town of Muqdadiyah.

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

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