Qaim (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants declared a curfew in their bastion in western Anbar on Thursday after unknown persons raised an Iraqi flag there, a paramilitary commander said.
Qatari al-Obaidi, a senior commander of tribal forces in Anbar, told Alsumaria News that Islamic State members declared a curfew at al-Obaidi region, Qaim (350 Km west of Ramadi), after unknown individuals raised the Iraqi flag above a local school, also painting hostile graffiti reading “down with Daesh (IS), hail to the Iraqi army”.
Since Islamic State militants took over large areas of Iraq and Syria to establish a self-styled “caliphate” in 2014, Iraqi government forces, backed paramilitary troops and U.S.-led coalition, launched a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions.
So far, the offensives managed to retake Mosul, the group’s former capital, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija and Anbar’s Annah. Only Qaim and neighboring Rawa currently remain in IS grip.
Local authorities and human rights agencies believe Islamic State members are holding tens of thousands of civilians in western Anbar as future human shields, having killed hundreds for attempting to escape.
On field, Alghad Press website quoted security sources saying that warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition pounded Islamic State members in Qaim while setting up barricades preparing for an attack on security forces. The air strike killed 10 militants and destroyed a shovel and two trucks.