On October 9, F-16 fighter jets of the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) destroyed a hideout of ISIS cells in the al-Thalab valley in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala.
In a brief statement, the Iraqi Security Media Cell said that all the terrorists who were taking shelter in the hideout were killed in the IQAF pinpoint airstrikes. The exact death toll was not revealed, however.
بإشراف قيادة العمليات المشتركة ، طائرات F_16 العراقية توجه ضربة جوية استهدفت خلالها وكر بداخله عدد من عناصر عصابات داعش الإرهابية في وادي الثلاب جنوبي قضاء خانقين، وأسفرت عن تدمير الوكر وقتل من بداخله. pic.twitter.com/Ss2ShqNzVs
— يحيى رسول | Yehia Rasool (@IraqiSpoxMOD) October 9, 2021
Currently, 26 F-16IQ Block 52 fighter jets are in service with the IQAF. The US-made fighter jets represent the core of Iraq’s air power. The IQAF arms its F-16s with precision-guided munitions, including AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, and Paveway laser-guided bombs.
The IQAF stepped up its combat operations against ISIS cells in the last few weeks. On September 22, Iraqi warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes on the terrorist group’s hideouts in the al-Shai Valley in southern countryside of the province. On September 23, the IQAF and intelligence carried out a joint attack on a key hideout of ISIS in Hamrin Mountains which lay along the administrative border between the provinces of Saladin and Kirkuk.
Furthermore, Iraqi Joint Headquarters Chief of Staff, Staff Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah revealed recently that the IQAF will reactivate its Chinese-made CASC Rainbow CH-4B combat drones and use them to hunt down ISIS terrorists.
The IQAF capabilities will for sure benefit the Iraqi military, security forces and intelligence who have working nonstop to end ISIS insurgency in the country.
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