Scores of Islamic State militants killed in airstrikes, west of Nineveh

Iraqi commanders standing beside the Islamic State flag

Nineveh ( Dozens of Islamic State militants were killed in air raids by the Iraqi army on Hatra city, Nineveh, the military media said.

“Iraqi warplanes killed scores of IS terrorists and destroyed two of their armored vehicles, west of Hatra city, as part of the military operation launched on Thursday to liberate al-Jazirah, the desert area falling between Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar provinces, from IS militants,” the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said in a statement on Sunday.

“Also, a bobby-trapped vehicle hidden at an IS hideout, west of Hatra, was destroyed as part of the military operation,” the statement read.

The Joint Operations Command announced on Saturday that only fifty percent of the regions between Salahuddin and Anbar provinces were liberated.

The Iraqi army announced on Thursday the launch of an offensive to clear the desert bordering Syria of IS militants.

Army, police and paramilitary units are taking part in the operation, which aim at clearing provinces of Salahuddin, Nineveh and Anbar provinces that form part of a region known as al-Jazira, from Islamic State.

The operation comes days after Iraqi forces recaptured Rawa, the last Iraqi town controlled by the militant group.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he will announce “the final defeat” of IS once it is routed in the desert.

Many IS militants are believed to have fled to sparsely-populated parts of the al-Jazirah region after suffering a series of defeats across Iraq and Syria.

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