More than two dozen Islamic State (Daesh) militants were killed in a coalition airstrike in an area west of Ramadi as Iraqi forces prepare to take back the city.
Maj. Gen. Ali Ibrahim Daboun told IraqNews.com 25 members of the IS died in the air attack about 100 miles west of Ramadi, the capital of western Iraq's Anbar province.
The bombings also took out key weaponry and buildings, US Central Command said. Three strikes hit two IS tactical units, destroying three IS vehicles, an excavator, heavy machine guns, two buildings and a 23mm anti-aircraft artillery piece.
"Warplanes of the international coalition, in coordination with the Army intelligence, bombed one of the sites belonging to the ISIS," said Daboun, commander of al-Jazeera and al-Badiya Operations. "The bombing resulted in killing 25 ISIS elements, in addition to inflicting material losses upon their ranks."
Overall, coalition forces conducted 11 airstrikes over Syria and 17 in Iraq, using bomber, fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircrafts.
The airstrikes come as IS militants push back against the Iraqi military forces that are planning to take back the city. Wednesday, the IS warned Ramadi residents would be killed if they attempt to leave the city in anticipation of the assault.
Earlier this week, dozens of IS fighters were killed as Iraqi security forces started preliminary bombings.
Maj. Gen. Ismail Mahlawi, commander of operations in Anbar, said reinforcement units, including "artillery batteries and tanks," arrived at his command Tuesday, adding "our last battle is storming the city of Ramadi, which will be launched in the next few days after the completion of all preparations."
By Amy R. Connolly, Fred Lambert, and Danielle Haynes
Copyright © UPI, 2019. All Rights Reserved.