Iraq’s main oil producing region, the heartland of its oil industry and a key oil hub, has become the site for the deadliest strike in the country’s history.
According to Iraqi security sources, the drones used by ISIS killed over a dozen civilians.
The first strike was carried out by a Predator drone in the city of Tal Afar, near Mosul, in the early morning of January 10, 2017, according to the Iraqi military.
Two days later, a second drone was launched from the same spot.
The following day, another drone launched an airstrike on the oil refinery town of Khazair.
The third drone, launched from another location, hit a nearby residential neighborhood in the same area.
The strikes came days after ISIS fighters launched an attack on the refinery town.
According a statement released by the military, a large number of civilians and security forces were killed in the attack.
A number of the civilians were killed by the drones’ anti-tank missiles, which are also known as Hellfire missiles.
The attack was carried by two different drones.
A drone fired a Hellfire missile at a building housing a military installation near the Khazairs oil refinery on January 11, 2017.
Another drone fired another Hellfire on the same building.
ISIS fighters also carried out another attack on an oil refinery in the nearby town of al-Firdous in the western province of Diyala.
The ISIS fighters used drones to fire missiles at the refinery and the town’s residents.
ISIS captured al-Shaar oil field in January 2017, producing over half of Iraq’s oil.
According the Iraqi government, the attack was aimed at killing oil workers and civilians in the area.
Two weeks later, another airstrike hit the town of Tal Azar in the northwestern province of Ninewa, killing several civilians.
This attack was launched by a drone.
According an Iraqi security source, the strike was launched after the militants attacked a checkpoint and captured a security force vehicle.
According another security source in the northern Iraqi city of Qayara, the airstrike was launched in response to a nearby drone attack on Iraqi security forces, which killed dozens of civilians.
Another attack on a military checkpoint in Tal Afad on January 18, 2017 killed at least seven people and wounded at least 45.
This is the deadliest attack in Iraq since the US-led coalition launched its air campaign against ISIS in 2014.
The coalition launched an air campaign in the southern part of Iraq in January 2018, aiming to defeat ISIS in the Mosul region and the north.
It did not achieve its targets in Mosul, but the coalition has said that it has achieved its targets elsewhere in Iraq, including in Diyaa and Baiji in the province of Anbar.
ISIS militants have also been reported to have launched dozens of attacks against Iraqi security services in the capital Baghdad and the southern city of Erbil.
An Iraqi security official told Al Jazeera that it was the third attack on security forces in the last two months.
Another security source said that attacks on the Iraqi army have increased in recent months.
“The security forces are under intense pressure from ISIS militants in the past two months,” the security source added.
“It is difficult to ascertain exactly how many people were killed due to the recent attacks, but a number of security forces have been killed and injured due to recent attacks by the extremists in the security services.”