Iraq says 260 ISIS vehicles destroyed in Fallujah flight
If the figures are confirmed, the strikes would be among the deadliest ever against the extremist group
Air strikes on ISIS group fighters fleeing after their defeat in Fallujah have destroyed more than 260 vehicles and killed at least 150 militants, Iraqi officers said.
The strikes began late on Tuesday as hundreds of vehicles carrying weapons and ammunition attempted to leave the militants’ last positions to the west of the city, the Joint Operations Command said.
“Our heroes in the military aviation destroyed more than 200 vehicles,” JOC spokesman Yahya Rasool said.
He said commandos had also seized large quantities of weapons and ammunition.
Rasool said at least 150 ISIS militants were killed in the strikes, although it was not clear how the dead were counted and identified.
He was referring to a first series of strikes on a massive convoy of several hundred vehicles heading south of Fallujah toward the desert, apparently to areas IS still controls near the border with Syria.
At least another 60 ISIS vehicles were destroyed later by air strikes conducted by Iraqi and US-led coalition aircraft on a convoy heading northwest of Fallujah, Anbar Operations Command chief Ismail Mahalawi.
He could not provide an estimate for the number of IS fighters killed in the strikes.
Iraqi forces have retaken full control of Fallujah, an emblematic jihadist bastion just 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad, after a vast operation that was launched in May.