Saturday 7 December 2019

British drones used in first Iraq attacks on Isil

An Iraqi soldier fighting Isil in Amriyat al-Falluja. Photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer
An Iraqi soldier fighting Isil in Amriyat al-Falluja. Photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Kim Sengupta

BRITISH drones have carried out their first drone attacks in the war against Isil, with air strikes in an Iraqi town where a British jihadist carried out a suicide attack three days ago. Large numbers of foreign fighters including, it is believed, other Britons, have also gathered there.

Iraqi forces have been carrying out an offensive in an attempt to recapture Baiji, where the country's largest refinery is located, for the last week.

On Friday, Kabir Ahmed from Derby blew himself up, killing eight people, including police officer Lieutenant General Faisal Malik al-Zamel.

The drones targeted Isil fighters planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the outskirts of the town on roads being used by government forces to take control of al-Tamim district.

More moderate Islamist groups have reported that foreign fighters have been concentrating recently in Kobane, which the Islamists are trying to take over, and Baiji, which has key commercial and strategic value.

Isis is estimated to make $2m a day from the sale of oil from captured facilities. Over the weekend another coalition airs trike hit a gathering of Isil leaders near Mosul, and there were reports Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was there.

However, it has still not been possible to confirm whether or not he was at the meeting of Isil leaders, but the extremist group have insisted he was not. Separately, Iraq's defence ministry reported he was injured in the attack. They also confirmed that his deputy, Abu-Muslim al-Turkmani, was killed.

Irish Independent

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