Annah (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces killed on Tuesday an Islamic State militant inside an underground tunnel in western Anbar as preparations continue to clear the group’s havens there.
Qatari al-Obaidi, a senior commander at the tribal troops in Anbar, told Alsumaria News that the militant was hiding in an underground tunnel in the town of Annah (210 Km west of Ramadi), which Iraqi forces recaptured last Thursday.
Islamic State held Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa since 2014, when they occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”. Iraqi troops were able to return life back to normal in the biggest cities of Anbar including Fallujah, Ramadi and others after recapturing them in 2015 and 2016.
Iraqi government and paramilitary forces are currently in parallel operations to retake Kirkuk’s Hawija from the militants. They recently recaptured Salahuddin’s town of Shirqat as part of the offensive.
Rights groups believe Islamic State militants are holding at least 65000 civilians at their strongholds in western Anbar, voicing fears that those could be used as human shields. Militants have regularly shot dead or caught and executed civilians fleeing those regions.