Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The second phase of operations to clear borders near Syria from Islamic State militants will launch soon, military spokesperson said on Friday.
Speaking to the Russian Sputnik agency, Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, said Iraqi troops will launch within the coming few days the second phase of operation to comb desert of Anbar and the Upper Euphrates region, west of Iraq, reaching to borders with Syria.
An area of 14,000 out of 29,000 square kilometers in the desert has been cleared by IS militants, Rasool added. Troops also combed 175 villages and exploded more than 18 booby-trapped vehicles. More than 1,000 explosives were removed. Many militants were killed in the desert.
The Joint Operations Command announced, last week, that only fifty percent of the regions between Salahuddin and Anbar provinces were liberated. At least 15 Islamic State members were killed in airstrike by the U.S.-led Coalition jets in the western desert, the War Media Cell previously stated.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said during his weekly press in November that his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants.
Earlier in November, Iraqi forces recaptured Anbar’s western town of Rawa, the very last bastion under Islamic State control.