Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State military official and six of his companions have been killed in aerial shelling in west of Anbar, a paramilitary official said.
Qatari al-Samarmad, a commander at the Mobilization forces in Anbar, was quoted saying on Sunday as saying that “Iraqi jets shelled an IS haven in central Qaim, west of Anbar, leaving Ra’ed al-Atouri, the military official of Qaim, and six of his companions killed.
“Targeting Atouri, who is considered close to the supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, came as information indicated his presence in the haven,” he added.
The jets, according to Samarmad, “intensified shelling of the group’s hideouts in Qaim, while security troops are tightening control on strategic regions.”
Joint Operations Command airdropped, earlier on the day, more than one million leaflets urging IS militants to turn in themselves.
Many IS militants reportedly fled Qaim heading to al-BuKamal in Syria, after several leaders ran away and were killed in airstrikes by the Iraqi and U.S.-Coalition jets.
The Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Thursday the launch of operations to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns.
Both towns have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.