The coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant recently killed two "motivated" foreign fighters in Iraq,
while local partners continue the fight to reclaim ground in Iraq and Syria,
the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said today.
In a videoconference call from Baghdad, Army Col. Steve
Warren told Pentagon reporters that the two foreign fighters were killed on the
same day in separate strikes in Iraq.
Abu Zubary al-Bosni was killed near Bajar; he was a Swedish
national of Bosnian descent who was a trusted member of a cadre of foreign fighters,
the colonel said.
Khalid Osman Timayare, ISIL's deputy emir of the Anwar
al-Awlaki Brigade, was killed in a strike near Ar Rayhaniyah, the spokesman
said. He was a Swedish-born foreign fighter with links to western fighters,
"Both of these strikes deprive ISIL of motivated
foreign fighters who had displayed leadership aptitude," he said.
Moving Forward in Iraq
Warren said Iraqi security forces in the Tigris River Valley
are battling to push the front lines to the west.
"They are experiencing some give and take there. It's a
tough fight," he said.
The 71st Iraqi Army Brigade is now moving to seize the town
of Nasiriyah, Warren said.
Meanwhile, in the Euphrates River Valley, Iraqi security
forces have now entered Hit, the colonel explained.
"The city is not yet clear. It's littered with
[vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, improvised explosive devices] and
booby-traps, but the Iraqi security forces are working from the north to the
south to finally secure that city," he said.
Progress in Syria
In northern Syria, Warren said, the Syrian Democratic Forces
continue to secure the northeastern town of Shaddadi in preparation for future
operations against ISIL.
The colonel added that the SDF is providing humanitarian aid
to the region and helping villages and communities regain a normal life.
Warren noted that since Feb. 15, the start of the Shaddadi
offensive, the SDF has gained 6,100 square kilometers. Coalition aircraft have
conducted 209 kinetic strikes, killing hundreds of enemy fighters. During the
offensive, the SDF suffered 84 casualties. In total, the SDF now controls
25,000 square kilometers of land in northern Syria, he said.
In western Syria over the course of several days, the
colonel said, vetted Syrian opposition forces have successfully synchronized
offensive operations, resulting in the liberation of several villages in
Warren added that since the start of this month, vetted
Syrian opposition forces have added a total of 81 square kilometers of new
territory and moved the Mara line approximately 7.5 kilometers to the east.