Mortar shelling. File photo.
Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) Two Islamic State militants were killed as a mortar missile fell near the vehicle they were driving in Mutaibija region, east of Salahuddin, a local source said.
Speaking to Alsumaria News on Monday, the source said “security troops on the borders between Salahuddin and Diyala provinces shot mortar missiles against regions where detachments of Islamic State spread at the outskirts of Mutaibija.”
“One of the missiles fell near the vehicle of the militants, which left them killed and the vehicle burnt,” the source added.
“The IS-held regions in Mutaibija are often stricken by security personnel on the borders between Salahuddin and Diyala, leaving casualties and losses among IS militants,” the source, who preferred anonymity, said.
Several IS leaders were killed in occasional airstrikes on Mutaibija, where the extremist group has struggled to reinforce its presence.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led military coalition, have been fighting Islamic State militants in several pockets across Iraq, most notably the city of Mosul, where operations since October killed at least 3300 militants.
Islamic State has been reportedly sustaining serious losses in personnel, equipment and finances since the launch of operations in October. Divisions and infighting among the group, with some fighters also executed or demoted for escaping the battlefield, are reported.
But observers believe the group could still pose a security threat with lone wolf or guerrilla-style attacks after losing their strongholds.