The terrorist behind the massacre of hundreds of Shiite prisoners who were executed by ISIS after the fall of Mosul in June is dead.
The U.S.-led air campaign and the Iraqi government’s war against ISIS have made further gains during the last few days. On Wednesday, an air raid targeted the ISIS governor of Nineveh, Radhwan al-Hamduni, and the military commander there, Rafie al-Mashhadani. Several sources have confirmed that both ISIS leaders were killed.
Al-Hamduni is considered to be responsible for the execution of hundreds of Yazidis and the kidnapping of hundreds of Yazidi women slaves in August. He also ordered the confiscation of the Shiite Turkomen’s properties in Talafar in the same month and was also behind the destruction of several Jewish prophets’ tombs, Christian churches and Shiite mosques in addition to the displacement of thousands of Christians and the confiscation of their properties in July.
Earlier this week, another U.S. air raid destroyed Mosul textile factory. Maouris Milton, a blogger from Mosul, said that the factory was used by ISIS as the main storage site for its heavy weapons. The factory was destroyed completely and most of the ISIS members there were killed.
ISIS has sought to stem the flow of bad news in and out of Mosul in part by targeting journalists. The Iraqi Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said that over the last few weeks, ISIS arrested 20 journalists. An ISIS list of “wanted” journalists included another 50 names.
The Iraqi government is planning a major offensive against ISIS in December, in hopes of pushing the group out of most of the country, though a further campaign to recapture Mosul will wait until next year. The recent successes against ISIS come as the Iraqi government has also shown some signs of progress.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has fired or reassigned 26 generals as part of an effort to rid the army of corruption.
- Al-Abadi’s government has reached an agreement with Kurdish leaders to settle a dispute over the revenue from Kurdish oil exports. The agreement calls for the Iraqi government to resume paying public employees’ salaries in Kurdistan’s regional government in return for the ability to sell 150,000 barrels of oil from the region daily. The agreement will also allow the Iraqi federal budget to be passed after more than a year of deadlock.
- After years of enmity between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the new Iraqi president and speaker of parliament visited Riyadh. Saudi Arabia will open its embassy in Baghdad soon, the Saudi foreign minister said.
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