Coalition airstrike kills two IS extremists southwest of Erbil: Peshmerga Commander

This is second Coalition airstrike against Islamic State targets near Makhmour in the past two days.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US-led Coalition on Sunday hit an Islamic State (IS) position near Makhmour, killing two fighters from the extremist group.

Sirwan Barzani, a Peshmerga Commander at the Gwer-Makhmour frontline, told Kurdistan 24 that the coalition airstrike struck an IS position on Mount Qarachokh near the town of Makhmour, southwest of Erbil.

The Peshmerga Commander also confirmed that the coalition airstrike killed two IS extremists.-

On Saturday, the Peshmerga forces and the US-led Coalition conducted a joint operation on Qarachokh Mountain, killing at least three IS members, including the extremist group’s head of finance in Kirkuk Province.

Rizgar Mohammed, the Mayor of Makhmour, previously told Kurdistan 24 that IS militants had increased their activities near the town, posing a direct threat to people’s lives in the area.

“Unfortunately, the presence and activities of Da’esh in some villages and districts of Makhmour is a fact that cannot be denied,” Mohammed said, using the Arabic pejorative for IS.

In March 2017, the US-led coalition fired airstrikes at extremists close to a Peshmerga frontline in the disputed area of Makhmour, killing at least seven extremists.

Since the removal of the Iraqi dictatorship in 2003, the town had been under the administration of the Kurdistan Region.

Following a military offensive on Kurdish forces last October, the region is now under the control of Iraqi troops and the Iran-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia.

Attacks by IS in Kirkuk and Diyala provinces have also risen over the past few months as fake security checkpoints and assassinations target civilians and Iraqi security forces.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany