This file photo shows members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in an unknown location in Iraq. (Photo by Reuters)
The second top figure of Daesh terrorist group has reportedly been killed along with two other top brass commanders of the Takfiris during Iraqi airstrikes in the western province of Al Anbar.
Citing the Iraqi intelligence apparatus, the Iraqi State TV announced on Saturday that Ayad Hamid Khalaf Al-Jumaili, the man believed to be the deputy of Daesh leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed during an air raid on a Daesh position in the region of al-Qaim near the border with Syria.
Two other senior Daesh commanders were also killed during the airstrike, the intelligence report said.
It is unclear whether Samarrai himself is still in Mosul, but US and Iraqi officials believe he is now hiding in desert areas.
Earlier on Saturday, Iraqi Defense Ministry announced that 150 Daesh terrorists had been killed during Iraqi forces’ airstrikes west of the city of Tal Afar in Nineveh Province.
Iraqis fleeing their homes in the Old City carry in west Mosul on March 30, 2017, due to the intensified battles between government forces and Islamic State (IS) group fighters. (Photo by AFP)
The news comes as Iraqi government forces, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, have liberated more areas in and around Mosul as they are engaged in massive operations to drive the Daesh Takfiri terrorists out of the strategic northern city.
Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) announced in a statement that federal police forces and members of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) have recaptured Qazibban neighborhood in western Mosul.
Iraqi army soldiers and PMU fighters launched their offensive to retake Mosul last October and since then they have made sweeping gains against the Daesh Takfiri elements.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Mosul amid army clashes with the remaining Daesh terrorists in the western part of the city.
Apart from the civilians caught in the crossfire in west Mosul, over 200,000 civilians have fled their homes since the operation to recapture the areas started last month, Iraqi officials say.
A separate campaign is also in preparation in Syria to purge the Daesh from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqaa.
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