ERBIL ــ Two top leaders in the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) were killed in a US airstrike in Iraq’s western Anbar province, local sources and US Department of Defense confirmed.
“The US-led coalition forces launched last Friday an air raid targeting Abu Wahib, the military prince of ISIS in Anbar province,” Peter Cook, spokesman for the Pentagon said in a press statement on Monday.
“Abu Wahib, who was a former member of al-Qaeda, appeared in the ISIS-linked executions videos released by the terror group,” Cook said, adding that three other gunmen of ISIS were killed in the same raid.
Speaking to ARA News, Iraqi journalist Kamal Khalif said that the US and European countries are involved in the eradication of ISIS in both Syria and Iraq because the latter had become a major threat to the entire world.
“According to the western powers, killing the group’s top leaders has weakened its structure from within and this will accelerate its elimination and clear the area from its abomination,” he argued.
US has recently carried out several strategic operations against ISIS leaders, killing several prominent jihadis in Iraq and Syria.
In the meantime, Rajeh Haji Sherida, an ISIS leading member, was reportedly killed on Monday evening, according to local media sources in Nineveh, who spoke to ARA News on condition of anonymity.
Sharida has served as the group’s Grand Mufti in Nineveh and was one of the most renowned members of Sharia court in the region, activists reported.
Head of Nineveh media center Raafat al-Zarari told ARA News that the raid targeted Sherida’s car on the third bridge in the city of Mosul, killing him along with tow other ISIS militants, identified as Amir Fathi Osman and Shet Mahmoud.
In other developments, fierce battles erupted between ISIS militants and the Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces south of Mosul and ended with the latter’s control of several strategic areas, according to al-Zarari.
The source confirmed that several areas have been recaptured by Iraqi and Peshmerga forces in the region, including the key village of Kabruk.
Thousands of civilians have been displaced in Nineveh and Anbar provinces. The Peshmerga forces contribute to secure their access routes toward refugee camps equipped for this purpose in the Makhmur district in Erbil Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Reporting by: Sozbin Celeng and Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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