by WorldTribune Staff, July 1, 2016
The Iraqi air force and U.S.-led coalition warplanes killed as many as 250 Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) jihadists in airstrikes on a pair of convoys fleeing Fallujah.
“More than 20 helicopters took part in the mission and were able to destroy more than 138 vehicles,” said Iraqi army commander Lt. Gen. Hamid al-Maliki in a video statement released by the Iraqi Defense Ministry on June 29.
U.S. spokesperson Col. Christopher Garver confirmed on June 30 that coalition and Iraqi planes had targeted two ISIL convoys – one on June 28 and a second on June 29. A suspected 175 ISIL vehicles carrying up to 250 jihadists were hit in the two sets of airstrikes, Garver said.
Iraqi officials believe the jihadists were trying to flee towards the al-Qaim and Tharthar areas near the Syrian border. Al-Qaim is 330 kilometers (205 miles) northwest of Fallujah. Tharthar is a lake north of Fallujah from which ISIL has routes into Mosul.
Lt. General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, Iraqi commander of the Falllujah operation said some 1,800 ISIL jiahdists were killed in the month-long battle for Fallujah.