Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Around 300 families are besieged by Islamic State militants in western Anbar to be used as human shields, security source from the province said.
“IS militants in Rawa besiege 300 families to prevent them from leaving the town to use them for protection against the air strikes that target its strongholds in residential districts and houses,” the source told Baghdad Today on Wednesday.
“Tens of militants escaped Rawa before launch of security operations through launched fake attacks to escape the town before being invaded by security,” the source added.
Operations were launched, late October, to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns. Both have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Friday liberation of Qaim in record time.
Many IS militants reportedly fled Qaim heading to al-BuKamal in Syria, after several leaders ran away and were killed in airstrikes by the Iraqi and U.S.-Coalition jets.
On Saturday, Hussein al-Okaidi, mayor of Rawa, Operations in Rawa will not launch before three days at least to eradicate the sleeper cells and end the militants presence in al-Rummana village.
The Joint Operations Command denied earlier on Wednesday launching clearance operations in Rummana, warning media agencies from reporting news that harms the military plans of the operations.