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Iraqi commandos capture IS leader, kill associate in western Iraq

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BAGHDAD, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) conducted on Monday an airdrop operation in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, capturing an Islamic State (IS) local leader and killing an associate, the Iraqi military said.

The CTS troops, backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft, carried out the airdrop operation in the town of al-Rutba, some 300 km west the provincial capital Ramadi, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

The operation resulted in the capturing of a prominent local leader and the killing of an associate who was the main funder for IS bases in the al-Rutba area, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, an officer from Anbar provincial police command, anonymously told Xinhua that the U.S.-led international coalition forces carried out an airdrop operation on a house in the al-Rutba area at about 3:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT).

He said that the troops captured Hatem al-Kurdi and killed his brother Dhiyaa al-Kurdi.

IS militants are still active in the vast Anbar desert which stretches to the border with neighboring countries of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as small groups or individuals of IS militants frequently infiltrated into Iraq from neighboring Syria through the roughly 600 km long border with Iraq in an attempt to regroup in Iraq again.

The security situation in Iraq has been dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants late in 2017, and the Iraqi forces repeatedly carrying out operations to control the whole border areas with Syria and nearby desert in western Iraq. Enditem

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