15 IS militants killed in coalition airstrikes in Iraq

Indo Asian News Service

Baghdad, Feb 26 (IANS) At least 15 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed, including senior members, in US-led coalition airstrikes near the Iraqi border with Syria in the country's western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said Thursday.

The coalition warplanes acted on intelligence reports and struck positions where IS militants were believed to have been gathering in and near the town of al-Qaim, some 330 northwest of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.

More than 30 IS civilians and militants were also wounded in the airstrikes, the source said, adding that the bodies and those wounded were evacuated to the hospitals and medical centres in al-Qaim and the town of Albu-Kamal on the Syrian side of the border.

"Many of those killed were senior leaders of the extremist militants, including Abu Muslim al-Shishani and Abu Obaida al-Azzawi, who is Wali, or governor of Euphrates areas, in addition to some foreign (non-Arab) leaders," the source said.

After the attacks, the IS militants imposed curfew on the town of al-Qaim, and prevented the residents from opening their doors and windows, the source added.

The US built an international coalition, including countries from in and outside the Middle East, to push back IS expansion, carrying out airstrikes against the armed Islamist group in both Iraq and Syria.