Baghdad, IRAQ — Twelve Islamic State members were killed in confrontations and airstrikes by the U.S.-led Coalition in Mosul, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said that Iraqi army troops invaded tunnels that Islamic State members use in al-Husseiniya region in Mosul, Iraqi News reports.
The Iraqi troops, according to the statement, clashed with the militants and killed two of them, before an air coverage was requested from the coalition. An airstrike was then launched by the Coalition jets, destroying the tunnels and killing 10 militants who were inside.
Meanwhile, up to 13 Islamic State (ISIS) militants were arrested Monday in their former stronghold of Mosul, according to police officials.
“Nineveh police arrested the 13 militants upon accurate intelligence data in al-Entisar, Judaydat al-Mufti and al-Nour districts in Mosul’s eastern side,” Baghdad Today website quoted Nineveh Police Chief Brig. Gen. Hamad Nems al-Jabouri as saying in a statement.
“The arrests were made pursuant to article 4/1 of the anti-terrorism law,” the statement read.
The arrestees were found to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State and worked for its Hisbah (vigilantism) and confiscation departments, the statement concluded.
Also, an Iraqi criminal court sentenced on Tuesday a Belgian member of the Islamic State to death for involvement with the group and threatening attacks in Europe.
Tarek Jadoun, aka Abu Hamza al-Baljiki, of a Moroccan origin, was sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad, said Abdul-Sattar al-Bayraqdar, a spokesperson of the High Judicial Council.
He pleaded innocent of the charges at the opening of his trial in May 10th.
According to Bayraqdar, al-Baljiki was found guilty of involvement in IS operations, as well as acting as a trainer for the group’s so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate”, a division of underage fighters.
Iraq has sentenced several foreign nationals to death and life in prison over operating with the militant group which occupied a third of the country in 2014 to establish a self-styled “caliphate” rule. Iraq declared the recapture of all territories under the group’s control in December 2017.
In November, the newspaper of the Iraqi judicial council published an interrogation of Jadoun, in which he elaborated on his induction into ISIS and promotion through its ranks.
More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence earlier in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
ISIS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by the US-led international coalition, was launched in 2016 to retake ISIS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.
It’s hell over there in their sand dunes.
Why can’t you violent animals just get along?