A bomb explosion. File photo.
Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Two senior Islamic State leaders were killed in an aerial bombardment in south west of Kirkuk, a paramilitary official announced.
“The emir of the so-called Kirkuk State was killed along with one of his prominent deputies in an airstrike on outskirts of al-Riyadh, Kirkuk, after targeting a rest house, where he was hiding on Friday.” Jabbar al-Maamouri, of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), told AlSumaria News.
“The group lost three of his main leaders in Kirkuk during September during accurate air raids that targeted its rest houses and camps in Hawija or regions in its vicinity,” Maamouri said.
In related news, a local source from the province said a family of IS member was killed in a bomb explosion while attempting to escape Hawija.
“A five-member family, including two children, of an IS member was killed in a bomb explosion while on a road on the outskirts of Hawija, escaping toward Hamreen basin,” the source said.
“The rate of IS families escaping Hawija has been recently on the rise as the offensive to liberate the town nears,” according to the source, who asked to be anonymous.
On Friday, Maamouri said the group’s second executioner was killed near his house by unknown gunmen at the outskirts of Hawija, marking the second accident of its kind in one month. Also, the group reportedly executed a senior leader, known as Abu Qatada al-Muhajir, for attempting to flee the town.
Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by IS since mid-2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
Further reinforcements from the Federal Police were sent earlier this month from Baghdad to the town, as the military command declared, late August, the end of operations in Tal Afar, the militants’ last haven west of Nineveh, and the approach of the launch of offensives for Hawija.