Saturday February 23, 2019
Home Uncategorized 28 killed in ...

28 killed in clashes, air strikes against IS in Iraq

0
//

Baghdad, Up to 28 people were killed and 20 others wounded on Saturday in clashes and air strikes by Iraqi forces on Islamic State (IS) militants across the country, security sources said.

iraq-airstrikes-on-ISIL-MosulIn Iraq’s western province of Anbar, security forces and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi (popular mobilization), retook control of Abu Fleis village near Habbaniyah town, some 80 km west of Baghdad, after heavy clashes with IS militants that killed 14 IS fighters before the militants withdrew, a provincial security source told Xinhua.

The battle came a day after the IS militants seized Abu Fleis village in an attack on the positions of the security forces.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Tash area in south of the IS-held provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, when IS militants attacked positions of security forces and Hashd Shaabi militias, leaving seven security members killed and five others injured.

The battles also resulted in the destruction of an armored vehicle and two military vehicles, the source said, without giving further details about casualties among the extremist militants.

Also in the province, two people were killed and eight others wounded when an Iraqi helicopter gunship pounded suspected IS positions in Mal’ab district in central Ramadi.

The IS group has seized most of Anbar province and has been trying to advance toward Baghdad in the past few months, but several counter attacks by security forces and Shia militias have pushed them back.

Near Baghdad, three roadside bombs went off simultaneously near an army patrol in Madain area, some 30 km south of the Iraqi capital, leaving four soldiers killed and four others wounded, an interior ministry source said.

In Salahudin province, a policeman was killed and three others were wounded in a clash with IS militants in Fat’ha area, just north of the town of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad.

The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated since June 10, 2014, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS militants.

(IANS)

Next Story

Thousands Displaced as SDF Targeting Civilians Advances on Last IS Territory in Syria

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

0
Syria
A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands atop a hill in the desert outside the village of Baghuz, Syria, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Islamic State (IS) fighters are targeting civilians who are trying to flee the last territory held by the terror group in eastern Syria, U.S.-backed forces told VOA on Thursday.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Kurdish-led alliance, said that IS militants hit a road used by civilians to escape violence as the battle to free the town of Baghuz in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province enters its sixth day.

“IS has blocked that road to prevent civilians from coming to the SDF,” SDF fighter Ali Ahmed said. “They have targeted civilians there, but we have responded to their attacks against civilians.”

Ahmed said that some families of IS fighters are among the fleeing civilians.

Located near the Iraqi border, Baghuz is the last stronghold held by IS extremists in Syria. With the help of the U.S.-led coalition, SDF fighters have pushed out IS from all territories it once held since 2014.

Fierce fighting between IS militants and the U.S.-backed fighters continues as the latter try to gain ground on Baghuz on several fronts.

“We have two main obstacles as we advance on Baghuz,” Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesperson, told VOA. “The first one is that [IS] terrorists are holding on to a number of civilians to use them as a bargain chip for their exit.”

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

IS controls about 5 square kilometers of territory inside the Syrian town, local military officials said.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview. VOA

Ivan Hasib, a Syrian reporter covering the battle, told VOA that he witnessed an unusual movement by U.S. military vehicles in the area.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview.

He said the remaining IS fighters in Baghuz are hoping to exchange hostages for a safe exit into the Iraqi desert.

Also Read: Islamic State Using Women, Children as Human Shields to Postpone Defeat

“There must be some sort of negotiations between IS and SDF about the hostages, because even [U.S.-led] coalition airstrikes have stopped since Tuesday night,” Hasib said, adding that SDF fighters were forced to pause their military operations on the northeastern front in Baghuz.

“We can’t start marching toward it from this side because of civilians. Many civilians are using this road to this side. So we’re here to protect them,” Mezlum Kobani, an SDF commander, told VOA.

According to SDF officials, more than 5,000 civilians have been rescued from IS in Baghuz. (VOA)