Coalition airstrikes kill, wound IS extremists southwest of Erbil
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US-led Coalition has launched airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions near the town of Makhmour, southwest of the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil.
A security source from the Peshmerga forces on Thursday said Coalition warplanes conducted several airstrikes against IS extremists on the Qarachokh Mountain near the disputed district of Makhmour.
“Coalition warplanes targeted nearly 20 IS positions on the mountain,” the Peshmerga source told Sulaimani-based Xendan media outlet.
The airstrikes killed three IS extremists and wounded several others, the source added.
Coalition warplanes have struck IS positions on Mount Qarachokh on several occasions in the past, most recently on Sept. 4.
On June 30, the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces and the US-led Coalition conducted a joint operation against IS near Makhmour, killing several members of the militant group.
Rizgar Mohammed, the Mayor of Makhmour, previously told Kurdistan 24 that IS members had increased their activities near the town, posing a direct threat to people’s lives in the area.
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-dominated Hashd al-Shaabi militia.
Since then, tensions between Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga have created a security vacuum that the extremists are now trying to exploit. As a result, IS remnants have returned near Makhmour.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany