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Top advisor to Daesh ringleader killed in Mosul

A helicopter lands on a road in the Nawran village, some 10 kilometers (six miles) northeast of Mosul on October 20, 2016, during the ongoing operation to retake the northern Iraq city from Daesh. (Photo by AFP)

The Iraqi air force has killed a top advisor to Daesh’s ringleader and second-in-command to the terror group’s shadow governor for Mosul, as part of large-scale military operations to liberate the strategic northern city.

Iraqi state television reported on Sunday that Mi-35M helicopters carried out a series of air raids on the town of Tal Kayf (aka Tel Keppe), located some eight miles from Mosul in Nineveh Province, leaving the key Daesh member, named as Abu Usama, dead.

The attack also killed a number of Abu Usama’s henchmen, the report added.

Mosul fell to Daesh in 2014, when the terror group started ravaging the country, naming the city as its so-called headquarters in Iraq.

Over the past months, Daesh has lost much of the Iraqi territory it had seized, with Mosul currently serving as its last stronghold in the country.

Earlier in the month, Arabic-language Iraqi Media News Agency (WAA) reported that Ibrahim al-Samarrai, otherwise known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Daesh’s chief himself, had been poisoned together with three other commanders of the Takfiri terrorist group, in the Be’aaj district, located in the southwest of Nineveh Province, of which Mosul is the capital.

Daesh’s ringleader, Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 

Also on Saturday, the Iraqi police said 36 Daesh militants, most of whom hailing from Chechnya, had been killed in the province’s al-Shourah district.

‘Mosul sharpshooter’

Meanwhile, other reports show the emergence of a vigilante, who has been surgically sniping out Daesh terrorists in Mosul, and has thus attracted much local popularity.

A military source said the avenger had most recently killed a Daesh member, who was about to behead a youth accused of joining popular anti-terror fighters.

The mysterious sniper had, over the past days, been reported to have taken out a large number of Daesh-affiliated individuals in four areas across the city.

Iraqi forces push forward

Over the past week, the Iraqi army, backed by volunteer forces, has been engaged in a large military offensive to cleanse Mosul of Daesh terrorists.

In their latest gains on the battlefield, Iraqi troops managed to free two villages in Mosul District’s Bashiqa town, Kurdish-language Rudaw television reported.

Iraqi forces also took back the Mishraq sulphur company, the biggest in the Middle East.

After coming under attack, the terrorists set fire to the sulfur stockpile at one of the firm’s plants, which killed two of the locals and caused many others to suffer from asphyxiation.

Daesh has, in recent days, stepped up its terror activities across Iraq after taking heavy blows from the Iraqi army during the Mosul battle.

Reports said on Sunday that Daesh terrorists have launched an attack against Rutbah town in the western province of Anbar near the Jordanian border.

Heavy clashes are underway in the area between Iraqi security forces and the Takfiri militants. 

On Sunday, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters said they had managed to recapture the town of Bashiqa near Mosul from Daesh. Journalists, however, were not being allowed into the town.

Earlier in the day, they had liberated a strategic road linking Bashiqa to Mosul from the Takfiri outfit.

Meanwhile, UNICEF says over 4,000 people have fled the conflict zones around Mosul since the liberation battle got underway.

The Mosul offensive involves more than 25,000 Iraqi ground forces. It is expected to take weeks, if not months, to drive Daesh out the city, which hosts more than a million civilians.

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