120 Airstrikes Launched in Iraq Last Week

120 Airstrikes Launched in Iraq Last Week
120 Airstrikes Launched in Iraq Last Week

International forces targeting the Islamic State militant group carried out nearly 120 air strikes in Iraq over the past week, according to figures released by the US-led coalition.

The strikes were concentrated west and north of Baghdad in Anbar and Nineveh, provinces where IS holds its most territory, and in the contested Baiji area of Salaheddin Province.

Targets included IS units, fighting positions and buildings and equipment being used by the insurgents, AFP wrote.

The coalition said it conducted 26 strikes from Sunday to Monday morning, the latest period for which figures were available, and a total of 119 in the past week.

Iraqi security forces performed dismally in the early days of an IS-led militant drive last June that overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

In related news, the IS leader is reportedly injured so badly he can barely move, according to several reports.

“Sources say Baghdadi is still alive, but still unable to move due to spinal injury sustained in the March air strike,” Guardian reported.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who last year declared himself caliph of the Islamic State, was reportedly wounded in a US-led airstrike in March.

 2,000 Killed by IS Since June

IS militants have killed at least 2,154 people off the battlefield in Syria since the end of June when the group declared a caliphate in territory it controls, a Syrian human rights monitor said on Tuesday.

The killings of mostly Syrians included deaths by beheading, stoning or gunshots in non-combat situations, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, urging the United Nations Security Council to act.

“We continue in our calls to the UN Security Council for urgent action to stop the ongoing murder against the sons of the Syrian people despite the deafness of members to the screams of pain of the Syrian people,” it said in a statement.

IS, which also holds tracts of land in neighboring Iraq, is an offshoot of al-Qaeda and has set up its own courts in towns and villages to administer what it own law before carrying out the killings.

The Observatory, which tracks the conflict using sources on the ground, said its figure included combatants, civilians and also 126 IS fighters who had tried to flee the group or were accused of being spies.

It did not include several beheaded foreign journalists and a Jordanian pilot who was burned to death by the group, so the probable figure is even higher, the Observatory’s Rami Abdulrahman said. Hundreds of people believed captured by the insurgent group remain missing, he added.

One of the worst massacres was against the Sheitaat tribe which had been battling IS in eastern Syria. The group has killed at least 930 Sheitaat members, the Observatory said.