Anbar (IraqiNews.com) An Iraqi border guard headquarter in Anbar, near the Iraqi borders with Syria, has become under siege by Islamic State militants since Saturday morning, BBC Arabic reported.
Military sources told the network IS militants launched an attack on the checkpoint near Treibil and Arar crossings with Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Soldiers locked up in the facility made distress calls for backup as they ran out of ammunition, BBC added, quoting the sources, adding that, so far, ten commando soldiers were killed in encounters with the extremist group.
Last week, an attack near Treibil killed 15 guards.
The attack comes as the government is employing most of its military and security power in Mosul, IS’s largest stronghold where the group is currently concentrated in its last bastions west of the city.
Anbar’s western regions still host some Islamic State strongholds that sustain occasional bombardments by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition fighter jets. There has not been an officially-declared military campaign to free those regions, but the province’s military command launched a brief assault early January that managed to recapture some western villages before stopping again. It is believed that the Iraqi government will not aim at western Anbar before its forces are done with retaking Mosul.
Local officials say thousands of civilians are held by the extremist group in western Anbar to use them as human shields against any security offensive.