Anbar – Fighter jets from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State have killed dozens of the group’s members and destroyed their combat vehicles in a raid in western Anbar, a military source was quoted saying.
The convoy was arriving from Syria to Iraq’s Anbar, the source was quoted saying by Alsumaria News.
Islamic State militants have held Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa since 2014. Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the allied U.S.-led coalition have also regularly pounded IS locations in the province. Local officials believe Islamic State is holding thousands of civilians at its western strongholds to use them as human shields against any future security offensive.
The Iraqi government and army commanders say they will aim at IS havens in Anbar once they are finished with eliminating the group from Mosul, its biggest bastion in Iraq. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said that as the battle in Mosul approached its end, securing the Iraqi borders with Syria at Anbar became a top priority.
Islamic State has escalated its attacks against army and paramilitary forces in the province over the past few months, leaving several personnel dead. It has also executed dozens of civilians over charges of collaboration with security forces or attempting to flee the group’s domains.