Iraqi official says terror threat eliminated from Anbar desert

Iraqi security forces. Archival photo.

Anbar ( An Iraqi official said Sunday that security operations meant to eliminate Islamic State members from Iraq’s western desert have come to an end.

Naeem al-Kaud, chairman of the security committee of Anbar Province council, told al-Hayat newspaper that “Iraqi forces have staged a preemptive operation to purge Anbar’s desert and prevent any violation that could threaten its security during elections”.

According to Kaud, “the desert has almost become free of Daesh (Islamic State), and the threat is over”, adding that “the Iraqi army is fully in control there due to a shortage in Federal Police elements”.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State extremists late last year, ending a three-year war launched to retake areas occupied by the group. Anbar’s town of Rawa, near the borders with Syria, were the last IS stronghold seized back by the Iraqi forces, but since then, desert areas there have seen occasional confrontations between militants and Iraqi troops.

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