Shia-led paramilitary troops to take part in liberation of IS bastions in Anbar

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) in western Mosul.

Anbar ( The Shia-led paramilitary troops will take part in liberation offensives at Qaim and Rawa, the Islamic State’s last two bastions in western Anbar, DPA reported.

“We are waiting for the zero hour,” Ahmed al-Assadi, spokesperson for al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said in press remarks on Wednesday.

“The offensives in western Anbar will launch soon. Al-Hashd will be a main participant in the operations,” he added.

“Military troops started gathering at the operations regions to finalize arrangements,” Assadi said.

Earlier on the day, the military media said hundreds of thousands of messages were airdropped on the two towns informing civilians that security troops are coming to free them and urging them to stay away from the enemy.

Na’im al-Ka’oud, head of the Anbar provincial council’s security committee, was quoted this week as saying that military Operations to retake Rawa and Qaim, the Islamic State’s last two bastions in western Anbar, will be launched by end of the month.

Iraqi troops were able to return life back to normal in the biggest cities of Anbar including Fallujah, Ramadi and others after recapturing them in 2015 and 2016. However, 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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