Anbar (Iraqinews.com) – Iraqi troops launched on Monday a wide-scale military operation, targeting hotbeds of the Islamic State (IS) group at desert areas in western Iraq, a source from the Anbar Operations Command was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Basnews, the source said, “A joint force from the Iraqi army and police started a military operation Monday, targeting Islamic State hideouts scattered at desert areas near Al-Qa’im and Ar-Rutbah districts in western Anbar, and on the country’s border with Syria.”
“The troops destroyed an Islamic State (IS) arms depot, four trenches and three missile launchers,” the source said, adding that three other caves that were used by IS militants for hiding were destroyed in the crackdown as well.
Earlier in the day, well-informed sources told the Jordanian Ad-Dustour newspaper that a senior IS leader seeks to “form a new militant group in Anbar’s Wadi Hauran, depending on remaining IS militants who suffered a crushing defeat throughout their strongholds in Iraq last year.”
The sources pointed out that militants of the new terrorist group are “secretly working as shepherds, waiting for the right moment to emerge and recapture cities they lost in their fight against the Iraqi army.”
Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence earlier in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.