Iraqi, U.S. airstrikes destroy 500 Islamic State vehicles fleeing Fallujah

By Andrew V. Pestano

BAGHDAD, June 30 (UPI) -- Hundreds of Islamic State vehicles fleeing the city of Fallujah have been destroyed by airstrikes in recent days, killing an unknown number of militants.

On Sunday, Iraqi security forces said the city of Fallujah was "fully liberated" from IS control. On Monday, the Iraqi military, aided by the U.S.-coalition, began targeting militants fleeing Fallujah through the south of the city. CNN reported more than 500 vehicles have been destroyed in the operation that was still underway Thursday.


At least 200 vehicles carrying Islamic State militants were destroyed in airstrikes on Wednesday alone. Officials have not disclosed how many militants in the group, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, were killed in the airstrikes.

"All ISIS militants traveling in these vehicles were killed," Brig. Yahya Rasool, a spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operation Command, told NBC News.

Iraqi Lt. General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, the commander in charge of the liberation of the Fallujah, said Iraqi forces killed more than 1,800 Islamic State militants during the offensive to recapture the city and surrounding villages.

The Islamic State seized control of Fallujah in 2014 and Iraqi security forces began the offensive to retake the city in May.


The Iraqi military released a video of Wednesday's airstrikes. Dozens of weapons were found in the vehicles. The Pentagon said it did not have details on the incident.

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