Iraqi army kills roughly 300 IS militants: Report

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Oct 2014

Iraqi forces are increasing efforts to take back the Salaheddin province after regaining the town of Jurf al-Sakhar

Iraqi security forces take up position with their weapons during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Diyala province, October 28, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Iraqi military forces have killed about 300 Islamic State (IS) militants in Salaheddin province in Baiji city, north of Baghdad, a security source told the Iraqi Media News Agency on Thursday.

The source pointed out that army troops were backed by local citizens during the operation. He added that Iraqi airstrikes against the jihadist group will resume to regain the city.

Baiji has the largest oil refinery in Iraq which is currently controlled by IS along with other large territories in Iraq and Syria. Reuters reported last Saturday that Iraq's government troops – along with Shia militias – have recaptured the town of Jurf al-Sakhar near Baghdad from IS.

Security sources told Reuters that Kurdish fighters restored the northern town of Zumar and another nearby villages on the same day, following severe airstrikes against IS militants by the US-led coalition.  

The US Central Command announced on Wednesday the launch of 14 airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq. Eight airstrikes took place near the strategic town of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey borders, leading to the destruction of a small IS unit.

Other IS units and two vehicles were destroyed in Iraqi ciites of Fallujah and Sinjar following six US airstirkes.   

David Cohen, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said on 23 October that IS became the world's wealthiest terror group. Cohen said the group earns $1 million per day alone for selling crude oil from fields it captured throughout this year, AFP reported.

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