54 IS militants killed in fighting, airstrikes in western Iraq

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-01 03:24:39|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, April 30 (Xinhua) -- A total of 54 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Sunday in four airstrikes by Iraqi jets on IS positions and a clash with security forces in border areas with Syria in Iraq's western province, the Iraqi military said.

Iraqi F-16 and Sukhoi warplanes carried out an airstrike, based on intelligence report, on a hideout of IS militants in the IS-held town of al-Qaim, some 330 km northwest of Baghdad, leaving some 20 IS militants and wounding others, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

The blast in the hideout was followed by several blasts believed to be for explosives and a car bomb at the site, the statement said.

A second airstrike hit a car bomb-making site in Karabla area near the border town of al-Qaim and destroyed the site, including three car bombs inside, leaving at least 10 IS militants, the statement said.

Two more airstrikes struck a third car bomb-making site and a weapons warehouse near al-Qaim, leaving some 16 IS militants killed, the statement added.

Separately, the Iraqi army backed by Iraqi helicopters repelled a pre-dawn attack by dozens of IS militants on military positions in Akashat area near the border with Syria, leaving at least eight IS militants and destroyed one of their vehicles, the JOC said in another statement.

The attacks come as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.