Iraqi authorities: Senior Islamic State leaders in Anbar are killed in operation

Iraqi authorities: Senior Islamic State leaders in Anbar are killed in operation

Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) on Tuesday announced that the so-called Islamic State’s top leaders in Anbar province were killed in the latest anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes earlier this month.

On Aug. 13, coalition fighter jets carried out an operation near the western deserts of Anbar in coordination with the CTS, killing 10 members of the terror organization. The security forces also arrested five other alleged terrorists.

In its latest statement, the CTS identified three individuals among the 10 who were killed as leadership ranking Islamic State members in the province.

It named one alleged terrorist as Ahmad Hamed Hussein, who also goes by the nickname Abu Muslim, who the CTS said was the Governor of the Western (Anbar) Wilayat. A second person was Abu Anas, the Emir of the Anbar Desert. The third was Abu Waqqas, media director of the Anbar Wilayat.

The rest could not be named as their bodies were disfigured due to the airstrike, the service said.

Iraq announced the military defeat of the terror group in December 2017, but its members continue to launch insurgent attacks, including ambushes and kidnappings, in several provinces across the country.

On Saturday, Iraq’s defense ministry announced it had launched a new stage of its military campaign to hunt down remnants of the Islamic State in desert areas of western Anbar.

The operation is a continuation of the previous three phases of the “Will of Victory” campaign which took place in Anbar, areas north of the capital Baghdad, and remote terrain in Diyala and Nineveh provinces. The operations aimed to eliminate Islamic State extremists amid claims of their attempts to regroup across the country.

Rural areas of Anbar, located near the Syrian border, have proven difficult for Iraqi forces to control effectively. Islamic State militants have long used the areas to terrorize local communities and to use as a staging ground from which to launch attacks on nearby towns and cities.

Source: Kurdistan 24