Former politician tells CNN that 17 senior ISIS fighters were killed
Mosul University -- considered an ISIS base -- was hit, but no students were there
Airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters struck Mosul and surrounding areas over the weekend, sources tell CNN.
CNN could not immediately independently verify the specifics of the claims, as the strikes hit inside ISIS-held territory.
Seven airstrikes were conducted near Mosul over the weekend, according to news releases from the Combined Joint Task Force carrying out coalition airstrikes.
Reports surfaced that Mosul University – considered a base for ISIS fighters – was hit.
CNN confirmed the strikes with two sources: someone inside Mosul University and with Athil Al Nujayfi, the former governor of Nineveh province, where Mosul is located.
Nujayfi, who says he maintains a network of contacts and a militia loyal to him inside Mosul, said 17 senior ISIS fighters and numerous local leaders were killed in the strikes, which he called a “blow” to the terror group.
CNN has not been able to independently confirm how many ISIS fighters or civilians were killed in the strikes.
Amaq, a media wing of the terror group, published images of what it called “bombings” in Mosul. Videos showed massive and dense plumes of smoke and dust rising toward the sky, bodies of the dead and injured and the rubble after the explosion.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story reported the number of people killed in the strikes. CNN cannot independently confirm those numbers.
CNN’s Merieme Arif and Jennifer Deaton contributed to this report.