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U.S. Says Air Strikes Killed Nearly 200 IS Militants In Major Iraq Battle

Nearly 200 Islamic State militants were killed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes during a major battle in northern Iraq this week, the U.S. military said December 18.

U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the coalition in Baghdad, said about 500 militants carried out a major offensive against Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the northern province of Ninevah on December 16, and the coalition responded by dropping nearly 100 bombs on them.

"Air power alone killed nearly 200 of them, about 187 by last count," Warren told Pentagon reporters in a video call.

"So, a significant blow to this enemy. And then, of course, ground forces. We don't have a good count yet for how much damage the pesh were able to inflict on this enemy during the course of this fairly long battle. But we know it was significant," he said.

"This is the most significant attack that the enemy has been able to mount, really since Ramadi [was captured in May]. And if this is all they've got, things are going to begin to get worse and worse for this enemy," Warren said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP