– At least 25 Daesh militants were killed Thursday in an airstrike carried out by U.S.-led coalition aircraft in Rutba city in Iraq’s western Anbar province, according to a military source, reported Anadolu Agency.
Army Major-General Ismail al-Mahallawi told Anadolu Agency that the strikes “completely destroyed” a 10-vehicle Daesh military convoy.
“The militants had been using Rutba’s southern desert outskirts as a hideout,” al-Mahallawi said, going on to assert that Thursday’s airstrikes had “killed all Daesh militants hiding in Rutba”.
In northern Iraq, meanwhile, a joint Iraqi force killed five Daesh militants in the village of Yarmigah some 20 kilometers east of Kirkuk, Sirbaz Salhi, a Peshmerga officer, told Anadolu Agency.
Daesh militants vacated Kirkuk after attacking the city three days ago, when they also managed to recapture parts of Rutba.
The terrorist group, however, remains in control of the Al-Haouija district, located roughly 30 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk’s city center.
Most of Iraq’s Kirkuk province — home to sizeable Turkmen, Kurdish and Arab populations — is currently under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, launched a much-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, Daesh’s last stronghold in northern Iraq.
Daesh captured Mosul — Iraq’s second largest city — in mid-2014 before overrunning additional territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
The Iraqi army, backed by local allies on the ground and the U.S.-led air coalition, has since retaken much territory. Nevertheless, the terrorist group remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul and parts of the western Anbar province.