BAGHDAD, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Dozens of civilians, security personnel and Islamic State militants were killed in a day of suicide bombings, airstrikes and ground battles across Iraq Tuesday.
Xinhua news agency, quoting an anonymous security source in the Anbar province, reports at least seven soldiers and allied Shia militiamen were killed and ten others wounded when IS militants detonated an explosives-filled Humvee at a base in the town of Garma, following up with a mortar barrage against the facility.
Iraqi aircraft continued bombarding IS positions in the Anbar province town of Kubaysah, killing 22 people, including seven IS fighters, medical sources told Xinhua. A security source in the town on Sunday said Iraqi military airstrikes there had killed “about 40 leaders of the organization,” and the U.S.-led coalition on Sept. 27 also reported conducting airstrikes against an IS staging point in the town.
Meanwhile, Xinhua reports, Shia paramilitaries known as Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Committees, handed over six dead police officers to a police station in the town of Khaldiyah, in the Anbar province, saying without elaboration that the bodies had been found on a road well-protected by the Shia fighters.
In Baghdad, police told IraqiNews.com a suicide bombing at a parking garage in the Sadoun area of the capital killed seven people and wounded three others.
In Kirkuk province, to the north, a security source told IraqiNews.com 10 IS fighters were killed when “international coalition warplanes bombed, this afternoon, two locations in the village of Sayad Khalaf, located in the area of Riyad in [al-Huwayjah] district.”
U.S. Central Command reports three airstrikes in al-Huwayjah on Sept. 28 destroyed nine fighting positions, three bunkers and five tunnels used by IS militants, while another airstrike near Kirkuk obliterated two IS fighting positions.
In the city of Mosul, Saeed Mamouzini, spokesman for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, told IraqiNews.com 10 IS militants had been killed by “unidentified snipers.”
The news coincides with an announcement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkish forces crossed into northern Iraq overnight and killed 30 fighters with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
Since IS forces spilled into Iraq from Syria last year, seizing large swaths of territory in the north and west, the Iraqi government has waged series of back-and-forth battles with the insurgents to varying effect.
Tuesday’s violence comes two days after Iraqi officials announced they would be sharing intelligence about IS forces with Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking in New York at a summit highlighting efforts against IS forces over the past year, U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the international air campaign against the militants, which began in August 2014, would not be enough to defeat the group, and that it must be matched by “political and economic progress to address the conditions that [IS] has exploited in order to take root.”