IS leader, companions killed in airstrikes in northeastern Diyala

Aerial bombardment. File photo.

Diyala ( An Islamic State leader and four of his companions were killed in an airstrikes in northeast of Diyala, according to the Dijla Operations Command.

“Aerial bombardment targeted Basateen al-Makheisa, northeast of Baquba, on Thursday evening, killing a prominent IS leader along with four of his companions,” Maj. Gen. Mazhar al-Azzawi, told AlSumaria News on Friday.

On Thursday, a local source from the province said U.S.-led coalition pounded a target in the same region without giving further details.

Attacks launched by Islamic State militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town.

IS holds pivotal regions that link between each of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, posing threats to the liberated regions.

The government and military commanders are expected to wage operations at other IS havens across the country, including Diyala, in order to mark an end to the group’s self-styled “caliphate” declared by the group in 2014.

Operations since October 2016 have so far managed to liberate Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, and Tal Afar town, west of Mosul. A wide-scale offensive was launched earlier on Thursday to retake IS holdouts in Salahuddin and Kirkuk, while a parallel one was launched earlier this week targeting havens in western Anbar.

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