Iraqi F-16 fighter jet.
Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi fighter jets killed 25 Islamic State members in western Anbar desert on Sunday, military media reported as the province awaits liberation offensives.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said the militants were killed during search operations carried out near the Syrian borders.
It added that 13 vehicles used by the militants were also destroyed.
Since Islamic State militants took over large areas of Iraq and Syria to establish a self-styled “caliphate” in 2014, Iraqi government forces, backed paramilitary troops and U.S.-led coalition, launched a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions.
So far, the offensives managed to retake Mosul, the group’s former capital, the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, Kirkuk’s town of Hawija and Anbar’s Annah.
Only Qaim and neighboring Rawa currently remain in IS grip.
Local authorities and human rights agencies believe Islamic State members are holding tens of thousands of civilians in their western Anbar havens as future human shields, having killed hundreds for attempting to escape.
A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 196 civilians were killed, while 381 others were wounded due to violence and armed conflicts during the month of September.