Iraq’s military says three high-ranking commanders of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group have been killed in airstrikes conducted by army’s warplanes in the northern city of Mosul.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command announced in a statement on Friday that the airstrikes also killed at least 11 terrorists who accompanied the commanders and destroyed two of their vehicles, Arabic-language al-Sumaria news website reported.
The statement also advised people in Daesh-held Mosul to keep safe distance from the group’s headquarters lest they fall victim to the air raids.
Mosul, the capital of the northern province of Nineveh, fell into the hands of Daesh in June 2014 in the first stage of the terrorists’ advance through Iraq, and has since served as the group’s de facto capital in the country. Iraq’s central government has announced that the army will launch a full-scale military campaign to retake the city after uprooting the group in Fallujah in the western province of Anbar.
Fallujah near liberation
According to Iraqi Federal Police Forces Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat, the security forces have so far managed to evacuate 760 people, mostly women and children, from the northern outskirts of the embattled city of Fallujah and moved them to a safe locality away from the battlefield.
Earlier on Friday, the Iraqi military said that it had managed to evacuate 65 families, mostly women and children, from the eastern outskirts of the city.
Daesh terrorists, who took control of Fallujah in early 2014, have prevented people from leaving the city. Iraqi troops, backed by volunteer forces, launched a major operation on May 22 to liberate the city. They have already recaptured several towns and villages on the city’s outskirts. So far, a few families have managed to escape from Daesh’s stronghold due to numerous mines the group has planted around the city and a number of snipers it has stationed on vantage points.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces destroyed the terror group’s telecommunications center and two bomb-laden cars in al-Jisr area located in the northern parts of the city. At least four terrorists were also killed in the army operation.
Separately, Oday al-Khidran, a commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, said on Friday that they found the largest Daesh-dug tunnel connecting different neighborhoods of Fallujah. He added that the terror group used tunnels to minimize its losses and protect its front lines.
Daesh’s Fallujah commander dead: US
Meanwhile, Colonel Steve Warren, a military spokesman for the so-called US-led collation forces in Iraq, announced that in the past four days, coalition air and artillery strikes had killed over 70 Daesh terrorists, including Maher al-Bilawi, the group’s commander in Fallujah.
Reports say that between 500 and 1,000 Daesh Takfiris hold the city, where, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, some 50,000 civilians are trapped.
Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh launched an offensive in the country in June 2014, and took control of portions of the Iraqi territory.
The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.
The Iraqi army and allied volunteer fighters are involved in operations to win back militant-held areas.