On the afternoon of 4 March, according to the Ministry of Defense and other credible sources, CF fixed-wing aircraft targeted an IS staging area in the vicinity of Kubaysa, located in western Hit District. As a result, eight IS militants were killed and an unspecified amount of explosive material was destroyed. The Security Media Cell added that elements of the 29th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division subsequently deployed to the affected area and discovered a destroyed vehicle and recovered eight deceased IS militants and various amounts of explosives including suicide belts and IED components.
This effective airstrike shortly followed another CF strike conducted in the Kubaysa area on 2 March, with two vehicles destroyed. Conflicting information cited the involvement of Iraqi Air Force aircraft, with the strikes causing an unspecified number of IS fatalities. Intelligence-driven operations of this nature often involve deliberate strikes conducted by CF assets, followed up by ISF ground units intent on securing the area and executing subsequent exploitation activities. Extensive desert areas in western Hit District have historically hosted vital facilitation routes between western and eastern Anbar Province, as well as various IS staging areas. As evidenced by this latest strike, proactive intelligence-driven security operations continue to play an essential role in bolstering the security of Anbar Province and disrupting residual IS cells. Additional airstrikes and security operations will undoubtedly continue, as ISF and CF seek to degrade associated threats and disrupt potential attack threads.