Qaim town’s gate
Anbar (IraqiNews.com) A senior Iraqi military commander has ordered to besiege Islamic State’s havens in western Anbar preparing to invade them, a military source was quoted saying.
Ikhnews quoted the source saying on Sunday that Lit. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Nineveh Operations at the Joint Operations Command, had arrived to Ain al-Assad military base in western Anbar, escorted by other top brass commanders.
The commanders discussed anticipated operations to retake the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim, on Anbar’s borders with Syria, from Islamic State militants.
“Yarallah had directed for advancing towards Annah’s desert areas to cut IS supply routes and besiege the group before the invasion,” the military source told the website.
Islamic State has held the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim,since 2014, when they occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”. So far, there has not been a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions, but occasional offensives managed to take over several surrounding villages.
The Iraqi government declared victory over IS in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, earlier this month, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts.
The Ministry of Defense said last week that though the Joint Operations Command gives “special attention” to the liberation of the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, as the next target, troops can launch simultaneous operations also targeting IS havens west of Anbar.
Last week, Iraqi warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing.