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IS Car Bomb Kills 2 Iraqi Military Commanders

  • VOA News

Anbar province, Iraq

Anbar province, Iraq

An Islamic State suicide car bomber has driven into a convoy of Iraqi troops, killing two senior military commanders, according to Iraqi officials.

The officials say the attack occurred Thursday north of the Islamic State-held town of Ramadi in Anbar province, where pro-Baghdad forces have been battling the extremists for months.

Major General Abdul-Rahman Abu-Regheef, deputy commander of Anbar operations, and Brigadier General Sefeen Abdul Maguid, head of the 10th army division, were among those killed, according to a military statement.

An unknown number of others also were reported to be killed in the attack.

Backed by a year-long U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes, Iraqi government forces have struggled to make significant gains in rooting out the Islamic State fighters, who control wide swaths of Iraq and Syria.

On Thursday, the Sunni ultra-militant group seized five more villages from other anti-government rebels in northern Syria, according to a war monitoring organization.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the overrun villages were in Aleppo province, and at least some of the areas were within a region where the U.S. and Turkey had been planning an IS-free zone.

U.S.-led coalition aircraft overnight continued an anti-Islamic State bombing campaign, now in its second year.

The group heavily targeted IS positions in Iraq, with the Pentagon reporting 21 airstrikes that destroyed dozens of militant-controlled buildings, vehicles, and fighting positions. Four additional airstrikes focused on the northern Syrian towns of al Hawl and Kobani.