Coalition airstrike kills 21 Islamic State militants in Anbar

Twenty one Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike by the international coalition led by the U.S. in Anbar province, Jazeera Operations Command has declared.

The airstrikes, according to sources, were carried out by the coalition against IS locations in Annah city, within operations to liberate the remaining cities held by the group in Anbar.

Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it emerged to proclaim a self-styled Islamic Caliphate.

Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the international coalition have regularly pounded IS locations in the province. The Iraqi government plans a military operation to liberate those regions once it finishes its almost eight-month-old campaign to retake the city of Mosul, Islamic State’s largest stronghold in Iraq.

In April, Qutri al-Obeidi, a leader with the paramilitary al-Hashd al-Shaabi troops said IS members were evacuated from Rawa town towards Qaim after the leaders ordered the fighters, along with their families, to leave due to intensified airstrikes.

Earlier in March, reports indicated possible joint operations by the Iraqi and U.S. forces to clear the three towns located near the borders with Syria.