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More than 900 IS militants killed, 26 villages seized - Iraqi Defense Min.

The Iraqi forces are close to Mosul
The Iraqi forces are close to Mosul
IRBIL, Oct 30 (KUNA) -- Fighter jets of US-led international coalition have killed up to 910 from so-called Islamic State (IS) since launch of campaign to liberate Nineveh Governorate from the militant group, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.
In the meantime, the General Command of Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces said that they have retaken 26 villages over the fortnight.
The ministry added that over the period of October 17-29, the coalition airstrikes destroyed 115 IS vehicles, 40 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 18 anti-aircraft guns and 170 fighting posts.
In a statement, the Peshmerga General Command said that they had achieved huge victories against IS north and east of Mosul, liberating up to 26 villages, totaling a vast area of about 500 square kilometers. Six villages were recaptured on Sunday, October 30 only.
The Peshmerga had thoroughly controlled the lines linking the IS militants in the areas of Bashiqa, Betania and Nawran, in addition to targeting their headquarters and depriving them from enforcements, the command added.
According to the statement, up to 800 bombs targeting the Peshmerga forces in all fronts of the confrontation with the IS were defused, and up to 7,000 displaced civilians arrived in the Iraqi Kurdistan since the operations commenced.
Thanks to support from the international coalition, scores from the militant group were killed and 50 bombing vehicles were blown off.
The command said that the coalition jets had carried out up to 550 sorties shelling against IS.
Meanwhile, the Qayyara air base, south of Mosul, on Sunday received the first military aircraft after it was recaptured from IS, and rehabilitated.
The battle of liberating Nineveh Governorate took off two weeks ago, and the Iraqi forces are close to Mosul which has been controlled by Daesh since the summer of 2014.
In a related development, the Combined Joint Task Force announced today that the coalition military forces conducted seven strikes in Syria and nine in Iraq against IS.
In Syria, the strikes occurred near Abu Kamal, Ayn Isa, Manbij and Mar'a.
In Iraq, the strikes hit near Haditha, Mosul, Rawah and Sultan Abdallah, the statement said. (end) sbr.rm.msa