Iraq's Defense Ministry says a senior military commander has been killed while fighting Islamic State militants in the country's north.

The Joint Military Command said late Tuesday that Brig. Ahmed Badr al-Luhaibi, the commander of Brigade 71st of Division 15, was killed by sniper fire during an operation to retake a village to the south of the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

It said his death "will increase our determination to clear" the entire province of Nineveh, where Mosul is the provincial capital.

Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, has been under IS control for two years.

Along with a major offensive to retake Fallujah, a city in western Anbar province, Iraqi troops have this week resumed small-scale operations to dislodge IS militants from areas to the south and southeast of Mosul.