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Coalition forces strike kills two IS members, including senior Timari

WASHINGTON, April 7 (KUNA) -- The coalition have struck and killed so-called Islamic State group senior member Khaled Osman Timari and Abu Zubari Al-Basni, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Timari, was the deputy amir of the group's English-speaking Anwar Awlaki brigade, and is a Swedish-born foreign fighter, described as having "many links to Western fighters," said US Army Col. Steven Warren said in a briefing on Thursday.
The senior member is also a known associate of Omar Al-Shishani, the IS minister of war, who was killed in another airstrike on Monday, according to the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Al-Basni, whose real name is Harris Cary Saneen, is also a Swedish national, but of Bosnian descent and is a trusted member of the cadre of foreign fighters.
Where the battlefield is concerned, he said that in the Tigris River valley of Iraq, local security forces are now moving to seize the town of Nasiriyah, while in the Euphrates River valley, they have now entered Hiit.
"The city is not yet clear. It's littered currently with landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby-traps," he said of Hiit.
In Fallujah, the Iraqi military is approximately 2 kms from the Makhtoul Bridge, which is a logistical supply line that IS has used for resupply, he added.
About training, in Iraq, this week over 400 Iraqis completed combat medic, infantry skills and ranger battalion courses.
The Spanish army have trained a platoon of Iraqi combat engineers, while 14 Iraqis have graduated from a month-long advanced explosive ordnance technicians' course, he added.
About Syria, in the north, the Syrian Democratic Forces continue to secure Al-Shaddadi, while they also provide humanitarian aid to the region, he said.
Since the start of the Al-Shaddadi offensive on February 15, the SDF has gained 6,100 sq kms. In total, the SDF now controls 25,000 sq kms of land in northern Syria, he added.
On northwestern Syria, since the beginning of April, Syrian opposition forces have added a total of 81 sq kms of new territory and moved the Mara line approximately 7.5 kms to the east, he said.
After talk of a new US Marines' support base in Kara, he said that its presence is "temporarily" without mentioning an end-date in a "very deliberate" manner.
"We wouldn't really announce it anyway," he said, adding that its presence is due to being "invited by the Iraqis" with a set-up being on Iraqi facilities. (end) sd.hb