Annah (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army forces invaded on Wednesday the first of three Islamic State bastions in western Anbar and near the borders with Syria, military and paramilitary sources were quoted saying.
Iraqi army forces invaded the town of Annah, hours after recapturing neighboring Rayhanna area, a military source told Baghdad Today. He said troops invaded the town from the Shuqaq al-Sakaniya (residential apartments) entrance, having pounded IS locations with rockets.
Abdullah al-Jugheifi, a senior commander of mobilization forces backing the government troops, was quoted saying that government troops took over al-Senaa and Shuqaq neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said warplanes from the United States-led coalition killed 16 IS members and destroyed an ammunition storehouse in two raids on Annah.
On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the launch of an operation to clear Islamic State havens in western Anbar, starting with the town of Annah. He promised “a new victory”, adding that IS “will not reap but a humiliating defeat and death”.
Iraqi joint troops managed earlier this week to liberate Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on the borders with Syria.
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.
Fighter jets from the Iraqi army and the international coalition regularly pound IS locations in the province.