Annah (IraqiNews.com) Thirteen Iraqi civilians were killed and wounded when unidentified warplanes bombarded a number of houses at Islamic State-held towns in western Anbar.
Abdul-Karim al-Aani, chairman of the municipal council in Annah, said the bombardment killed a family of three, and wounded ten others including women and children.
Though the identity of the warplanes could not be verified, Al-Aani urged the Iraqi government to halt air raids on Annah to avoid civilian casualties.
Hundreds of civilians had been killed in Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition strikes across Islamic State havens in Iraq since 2014 when the militants proclaimed a self-styled “caliphate” on a third of the country.
Islamic State has held the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim, on Anbar’s western borders with Syria since 2014. Recent news reports have said military reinforcements were sent to areas near those towns preparing for an invasion against IS. The Iraqi Joint Operations Command has, meanwhile, declared that its coming battle would be in IS-held Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk. So far, U.S.-backed government forces recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, and the town of Tal Afar, a major haven west of Mosul.
Reports said a few weeks ago that Iraqi military aeroplanes dropped millions of messages on western Anbar telling civilians that liberation offensives were nearing, and urging people to stay away from militants’ locations.