Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Eight Islamic State militants were killed in an airstrike by the U.S.-led Coalition, west of Ramadi in Anbar, a commander said.
“The Coalition jets managed to bombard a vehicle and militants gathering at the 75 Kilometers region, southwest of Rutba,” Maj. Gen. Mahmoud al-Falahi, commander of Anbar Operations, told AlSumaria News on Tuesday.
“The shelling left eight militants killed and the vehicle destroyed,” he said, adding that the army’s first division destroyed a camp for IS militants there.
Security troops and tribes follow the militants in northwest and southwest of Anbar in the desert, to which they resorted after escaping the western regions.
Earlier in November, Iraqi forces recaptured Anbar’s western town of Rawa, the very last bastion under Islamic State control. However, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.
Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command said in remarks on Friday that the second phase of operations to clear borders near Syria from Islamic State militants will launch soon. An area of 14,000 out of 29,000 square kilometers in the desert has been cleared by IS militants.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied.