Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army warplanes killed 94 Islamic State militants in Anbar on Wednesday, including a senior leader close to the group’s supreme commander, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, military media reported.
The War Media Cell said that the air force, using intelligence services information, bombarded six IS locations in the town of Qaim. Several group entrenchments were destroyed in the strike, leaving 94 members dead.
Those killed included Zafer (Abu Ayman) al-Rawi, a senior security commander, and Millat Hashem Farahat, a former commander in Tal Afar and a close aide to Baghdadi.
Islamic State militants are still holding the towns of Qaim, Rawa and Anna, in western Anbar, since 2014, when they occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim their self-styled “caliphate”. So far, there has not been a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions, but occasional offensives by government forces and allied Popular Mobilization Forces have managed to take over several surrounding villages.
The Iraqi government declared victory over Islamic State in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, in July, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts, including Anbar. Government troops are currently battling Is out of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.
Late July, Iraqi army warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages on western Anbar telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing, and advising them to stay away from militants’ deployments.