Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have fled from western Anbar to Syria, as security troops resume advancing, a security source said.
“IS militants left their guns and fled toward al-BuKamal in Syria after many leaders ran away and were killed in airstrikes by the Iraqi and U.S.-Coalition jets againsts their locations within liberations offensives in Qaim,” the source told AlSumaria News.
“The militant group urged its militants, using speakers of the mosques in Qaim, not to run away, and that whoever escapes would be considered as traitor, who breached the allegiance, and would be strictly penalized,” the source, who preferred anonymity, added.
In related news, the Joint Operations Command airdropped more than one million leaflets urging IS militants to turn in themselves.
A statement by the War Media Cell said, “the messages included instructions to civilians and threats to IS; either to surrender or die.”
The Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Thursday the launch of operations to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns.
Hundreds of thousands of messages were airdropped on Wednesday on the two towns informing civilians that security troops are coming to free them and urging them to stay away from the enemy.
Both towns have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.