Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Air Force launched on Monday airstrikes on Islamic State hideouts in Anbar Province, a security source told IKH News.
“Iraqi warplanes targeted Islamic State hideaways in the desert area linking Anbar to Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces,” the source said.
“It is the first airstrike to be launched on this area within three years,” he said, adding that such hideouts were used by IS militants for launching attacks on the recently-liberated areas.
The source said, “Many of IS militants were killed in the air raid,” adding that a large number of IS secret tunnels, weapons and ammunition were also destroyed.
On Sunday, the War Media Cell said in a statement that Iraqi troops have managed to comb over 100 villages, declaring the end of the first part of second phase of the Upper Euphrates and al-Jazirah Combing Operations.
“Troops managed to comb the villages and regions falling between south of Hatra and north of Rawa,” the statement read.
“Our forces were able to comb 175 villages, five bridges and crossings as well as an airport on an area of 14,100 square kilometers,” it said, adding that “huge losses in equipment were inflicted.”
Moreover, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah announced combing four villages north of Rawa on an area of 740 square kilometers.
In a statement, Yarallah said, “troops combed villages of al-Hamima, Leheiji, al-Beghelein and Aluta, northeast of Rawa.”
Combing operations are still ongoing, he added.
The Joint Operations Command announced on Saturday that only fifty percent of the regions between Salahuddin and Anbar provinces were liberated. At least 15 Islamic State members were killed in airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition jets in the western desert, the War Media Cell said in a statement.
Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said his country defeated Islamic State at the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.