Baghdad, Oct 24 (IANS) Thirty militants of the Islamic State (IS) group were killed in air strikes and clashes with Iraqi security forces on Saturday near the IS-held city of Ramadi, a provincial security source said.
In one incident, a warplane bombarded an IS headquarters in the town of al-Qaim near the Iraqi-Syrian border, leaving at least 18 militants killed and destroying six of their vehicles, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The source could not immediately say whether it was an Iraqi of a US-led coalition warplane.
Separately, the Iraqi air craft conducted an air strike on an IS position near Albu Risha bridge in west of Ramadi, which located some 110 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing five militants and wounding nine others, the source said.
In addition, five soldiers and allied paramilitary militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, were killed and 12 others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden truck near the troops in Jeraishi area, just north of Ramadi, the source said.
The huge blast was immediately followed by an attack of dozens of IS militants sparking heavy fighting with the troops that resulted in the killing of seven IS militants, the source added.
The security forces have reached the edges of Ramadi and imposed siege on the extremist militants inside, preparing for a major battle to free the city, while the army artillery and aircraft intensified their bombardment on the IS positions in the city, the source said.
The attacks came as Iraqi security forces and allied militias have been fighting for months to retake control of key cities and towns in Iraq’s largest province from the extremist IS militants, which seized most of Anbar province and tried to advance toward Baghdad.