47 IS militants killed in Iraqi airstrikes in west of Mosul

BAGHDAD — A total of 47 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Monday in Iraqi airstrikes in and near the IS-held town of Tal Afar in west of Mosul, the Iraqi military said.

Iraqi jets conducted airstrikes on an IS post in the IS-held town of Mahalabiyah near the IS stronghold in Tal Afar, which itself located some 70 km west of Mosul, the Iraqi federal intelligence agency said in a statement.

The airstrikes resulted in the killing of 18 IS militants and the destruction of five vehicles, the statement said.

Other airstrikes targeted IS redoubts in the al-Qal’a neighborhood in Tal Afar and killed 22 IS militants, including eight of the group leaders, the statement added.

In addition, the airstrikes hit a bomb-making site in al-Qadsiyah neighborhood in Tal Afar, destroying the site and killing seven IS militants inside.

The airstrikes came after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on July 10 formally declared Mosul liberated from IS after nearly nine months of fierce fighting to dislodge the extremist militants from their last major stronghold in Iraq.

Earlier in the month, Iraqi military officials, including Abdul Amir Yarallah from the Joint Operations Command, said after the liberation of Mosul the troops will advance westward to free Tal Afar, the last IS redoubt in Nineveh province.

Tal-Afar is home of majority of both Sunni and Shiite Turkomans, in addition to other minorities of Kurds and Arabs. The town fell to IS in 2014. Xinhua-northboundasia.com