Regions liberated within offensive launched in western Anbar: Military

Iraqi military tanks advance towards the Islamic State-held Old City in western Mosul, Iraq June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Anbar ( Iraqi troops have liberated several regions in western Anbar as part of the offensive launched earlier on Thursday to liberate the two Islamic State’s bastions in the province, military media said.

In a statement released, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said, “Al-Jazeera Operations liberated Rawa crossroads as well as al-Hasa, the residential complex of al-Hasa and al-Jibab region.”

Moreover, “troops tightened control on pivotal establishments and residential areas there,” the statement said, indicating troops’ ongoing advance.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a military source told AlSumaria News that Jibab region was freed after IS militants fled toward Qaim.

Early on Thursday, The Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has announced 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.

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 army announced the total recapture of the town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area last month. Troops also liberated Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria.

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