Thursday, February 26, 2015

26 February 2015

Since yesterday and into this afternoon, coalition warplanes have mounted a number of sorties against targets in al-Qaim, Rutba, and Hit in western Anbar. It was announced today that Abu Tammam al_Turkmani, the number-two in the ISIL leadership after Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in one of those strikes on al-Qaim close to the Syrian border. Six of his intelligence aides were also killed. A further 23 gunmen were also killed by the strikes.
In Hit which is still held by ISIL, at least 20 gunmen have been killed.

In Baghdadi, the road between the township and Hit has been cleared. Hundreds of families are reported to have been making their way on foot toward ISIL-occupied Hit. Security operations have led to the clearing of a number of desert areas between Haditha and Baghdadi. A number of villages in southwestern Baghdadi township have also been liberated. Meanwhile, ISIL gunmen have attacked and captured an army barracks guarding the bridge linking the riverside areas between Hit and Baghdadi. The security forces were forced to withdraw from the area that is still the scene of fierce clashes.
A number of U.S. military advisers and experts are reported to have arrived at the Habbaniya base to assess the situation and to plan the necessary action in eastern Anbar and the areas leading to the capital, Baghdad.

In Ramadi, security forces supported by coalition warplanes have thwarted an ISIL attempt at advancing from the city's southwestern sector.  Alao today, large quantities of weapons and munitions have been seized in the Khalidiya sector of the city. Two explosives-loaded vehicles heading for Ramadi were hit and blown up by Iraqi air units.

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