68 IS militants killed in Iraqi airstrikes on border town with Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-01 05:35:12|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi military said 68 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed Thursday in Iraq's airstrikes on an IS-held town near the Syrian border in the western province of Anbar.

Iraqi jet fighters carried out the airstrikes on four IS posts in the town of al-Qaim, some 480 km northwest of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Iraq's Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The first two airstrikes destroyed a weapon warehouse in Nahdha neighborhood and a car bomb-making site, killing 30 and 15 IS militants respectively, the statement said.

Another airstrike hit an IS headquarters in 7th Nisan neighborhood, leaving 11 militants killed, the statement said.

A fourth airstrike targeted an IS post housing suicide bombers in Se'dah village near al-Qaim, killing 12 IS militants and destroying two of their vehicles, the statement added.

The airstrikes came hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared full liberation of the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas from the IS.

"I declare to you that Tal Afar has joined the liberated Mosul and returned to the homeland," Abadi said in a statement issued by his office.

The Iraqi forces still have to wage more offensives to dislodge IS militants from their redoubts in Hawijah in southwestern Kirkuk, the adjacent sprawling rugged areas in the eastern province of Salahudin, in addition to the remaining IS strongholds in the border areas with Syria, including the towns of Aana, Rawa and al-Qaim.