34 Islamic State militants killed in offensive in Anbar desert

Iraqi soldiers gather to go battle against Islamic State militants south of Mosul , Iraq, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Anbar ( The War Media Cell has declared outcome of operations launched in the desert of Anbar that started on Monday.

“34 terrorists, most of whom were wearing suicide belts, were killed, while three booby-trapped vehicles were destroyed in addition to other vehicles with guns installed on them,” the troops media service said in a statement on Tuesday. “70 bombs were defused. Stashes of weapons and explosives as well as boats used by the militants to cross the [Euphrates] river, were destroyed.”

The operations were carried out by units of the Jazeera Operations Command and al-Hashd al-Ashaeri (tribal mobilization forces) backed by the airforce and the international coalition, the statement added. The operation was launched at depth of 40 KM in the desert from three axis.

The three axes, according to WMC, were “north of Qadisiya lake toward Rawa city, south of Euphrates River toward Rihana and Annah cities and another axis toward Makhazin Haditha and Valley of Houran.”

Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it emerged to proclaim a self-styled Islamic Caliphate.

Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the international coalition have also regularly pounded IS locations in the province. The Iraqi government is expected to aim at those strongholds once the Mosul battle is concluded.

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