Annah (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces on Thursday completely took over the town of Annah, one of Islamic State’s last three strongholds in Anbar’s western borders with Syria, military media said.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said army forces, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces, the paramilitary force fighting IS alongside the government, took over the town, just two days after operations launched.
Iraqi army forces invaded Annah on Wednesday, hours after recapturing neighboring Rayhana area. Military and paramilitary sources said the troops, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces, regained control over a number of neighborhoods in the town. Military media said up to 30 militants were killed since offensives launched.
Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it 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.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command declared the start of offensives to retake IS-held regions in Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces.