Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi joint troops are working on preparations to launch wide-scale operations to retake Islamic State-held regions in western Anbar, an official said.
“Security forces are in preparations to carry out wide-scale offensive to recapture Rawa town, west of Anbar,” Rajei Barakat al-Eissawi, member of the security committee of Anbar provincial council, said in press remarks on Friday.
Preparations, according to Eissawi, are ongoing simultaneously with “heavy shelling by Iraqi jets against IS strongholds amid news on killing of tens of IS militants, including suicide attackers and foreigners.”
“The army’s artillery heavily bombarded IS holdouts in the targeted regions,” Eissawi said adding that “security troops, backed by army jets, are working on plan to cut off supplies to the militants.”
Anbar’s western towns of 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.
Iraqi army announced the total recapture of the town of Annah, hours after recapturing neighboring Rayhana area, earlier this month. Troops also liberated Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria.
Five militants were reportedly killed in shelling by the U.S.-led Coalition jets against Qaim.