Iraqi army, tribal troops advance to last Islamic State haven in Iraq

Iraqi army forces in Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.

Rawa ( Iraqi army and tribal forces from Anbar province headed Tuesday towards the last area held by Islamic State militants in Iraq to recapture it and end a three-year-old war.

A military source told Alsumaria News that forces from the 7th division and tribal troops headed towards the city of Rawa (230 Km west of Ramadi) on the Syrian borders.

The source said the forces are backed by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition aviation.

Iraqi troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, took over IS’s major bastions in Iraq since October. Currently, only western Anbar’s town of Rawa remain in militants’ grip. IS members have frequently been accused of booby-trapping civilians’ houses to hinder assaulting troops, and of using civilians as human shields. It is believed that militants are holding a few thousands of civilians in Rawa.

A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 114 Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts during October.

The war against Islamic State has displaced at least five million people since 2014, according to United Nations statistics.


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