An Islamic State commander and a number of his escorts have reportedly been killed in a coalition air strike on the road to Akashat in Iraq's northwestern Anbar Province.
An RFE/RL correspondent in Iraq named the militant as Abu Hajer al-Shimmary and reported that he and six of his companions had been killed near Akashat as they traveled from Syrian territory via the Al-Qaim border post. Akashat is around 150 kilometers southwest of Al-Qaim.
The United Arab Emirates news website alkhaleej.ae also reported on February 4 that an IS militant named Hajer al-Shimmary had been killed near Akashat, citing a security source in Anbar Province. The source said that five of Shimmary's companions had been killed in the strike.
Other reports said that coalition strikes this week have also killed a number of Islamic State militants elsewhere in Anbar, where the extremist Sunni group holds around 85 percent of the province's territory.
Anbar's police spokesman, Captain Marwan Mohammed, said that seven Islamic State militants had been killed in a February 2 coalition air strike near Al-Khasfa in Anbar Province.
RFE/RL's correspondent in Iraq cited Colonel Sha'aban Al-Obaidi, the SWAT commander in the township of Baghdadi, as saying that at least 23 militants have been killed in several strikes in the Jubba neighborhood.
Severe Food Shortages
Amid the reports of the coalition's successful strikes against the Islamic State group around Baghdadi, residents of the town have called on the Iraqi central government to deliver emergency relief aid to civilians trapped in the township after militants imposed a siege.
There are reports that two children have died in Baghdadi as a result of the severe food shortages that are ongoing as a result of the Islamic State's embargo on the township, according to RFE/RL's correspondent.
Anbar Tribes Form New Anti-IS Coalition
Tribes in the beleaguered Anbar Province have formed a new coalition to fight the Islamic State group, the pan-Arab outlet Asharq Al-Awsat reported on February 3.
The report cited the head of Anbar's Albu Fahd tribe, Rafi Abdul Karim al-Fahdawi, as saying that the tribes had declared a "general call to a joint tribal alliance" to fight the militant group. The new alliance has been named Hilf al-Fudul (League of the Virtuous) after the 7th-century alliance that formed in Mecca and which included the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, in order to ensure the rights of the weak and strangers against the powerful.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, more than 3,000 members of the Albu Fahd tribe have joined the alliance, which tribal leader Fahdawi said aimed to unite the tribes "to fight [the Islamic State group] which is wreaking havoc in our province."
-- Joanna Paraszczuk