IS claims over 60 Iraqi soldiers killed in suicide bombing: SITE
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Islamic State (IS) on Monday claimed it killed over 60 Iraqi soldiers in a suicide bombing near the Iraq-Syria border, according to a message intercepted by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The militant group said their fighters attacked bases in the Jamouna area, near al-Tanaf in Syria, where they killed 68 Iraqi soldiers.
According to information obtained by SITE, the group launched the assault from three directions where they clashed with troops in al-Furat, a province in western Iraq.
IS claimed six military barracks were set on fire, seven vehicles were destroyed, and one Iraqi soldier was taken hostage.
The suicide attack was carried out by a militant named Abu Hassan al-Iraqi, followed by the storming of the bases, SITE reported.
The IS militants also took three military vehicles “equipped with machine guns, rocket launchers, and various weapons and ammunition,” the message translated by SITE read.
Meanwhile, the United States said its forces had managed to liberate nearly a third of IS territory in Iraq and Syria.
Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition against IS, highlighted US President Donald Trump’s new strategy which “dramatically accelerated” gains against IS.
“Nearly 30 percent of all the territory that has been retaken from [IS]—about 20,000 square kilometers—has actually happened in the last six months,” he said.
The envoy noted the Trump administration had delegated critical decision-making to battlefield commanders and secured more support for the anti-IS coalition.
He also said Trump implemented a tactic of “annihilation” where ground forces surround the group in its stronghold so foreign fighters cannot escape.
Editing by Ava Homa