Iraqi forces recapture several areas at Islamic State’s last holdout: military

Iraqi forces in Tal Afar

Rawa ( Iraqi forces on Friday recaptured several areas and facilities as they sweep through Islamic State’s last bastion in Iraq, military media have reported.

The Joint Operations Command’s War Media Cell said troops, backed by tribal troops, seized back four neighborhoods at the city of Rawa, west of Anbar, besides the city’s mayoral building, post office, grand market and bridge.

An hour earlier, the WMC said operations launched on the dawn of Friday for the “liberation of Rawa”.

The WMC added that the psychological war division used a radio frequency to urge militants to surrender and civilians to raise white flags above their houses to identify them.

Iraqi forces recaptured neighbouring Qaim from Islamic State early November. The government launched U.S.-backed operations in October to retake territories seized by Islamic State in 2014. So far, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and Anbar’s Annah.

Retaking Rawa will represent a collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq, and an end to the self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” the group’s founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared from Mosul.

The war against IS has displaced five million people, according to United Nations counts, while hundreds of civilians and security troops were killed.


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