Four IS militants killed after attack near borders with Syria

Iraqi army in Anbar

Ramadi ( Pro-Iraqi government paramilitary forces killed four Islamic State members during an attack the group launched on the Iraqi borders with Syria.

Shaker al-Rishawi, a commander at al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) in Anbar, was quoted Sunday by Alsumaria News saying the troops thwarted an attack by IS on al-Waleed border crossing in Rutba desert area (440 west of Ramadi). He said the attack was launched from the Syrian city of Boukamal.

Al-Hashd forces killed four of the attackers and destroyed three booby-trapped vehicles, according to Rishawi.

Last August, tribal fighters said they took over the crossing from IS militants.

Islamic State has held a few strongholds in western Anbar since 2014. There has not been an officially-declared military campaign to free those regions, but the province’s military command launched a brief assault early January that managed to recapture some western villages before stopping again. It is expected that the Iraqi government will aim at those strongholds after it eliminates IS from Mosul, the group’s largest bastion in Iraq where a security campaign has been running since October.

Local officials in Anbar believe Islamic State is holding thousands of civilians in those regions to use them as human shields against any future security offensive.

The province’s borders with Syria witnessed exchanges of attacks between IS and border guards in March..

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