Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Two Iraqi soldiers were killed on Sunday when a booby-trapped vehicle exploded in their patrol west of the country, a military source was quoted saying.
DPA quoted the source saying that the trapped car, driven by a suicide bomber, exploded in an army patrol at the 170th Kilometer region near a highway leading to the Syrian and Jordanian borders.
Islamic State has held the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim,since 2014, when they occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”. So far, there has not been a wide-scale campaign to retake those regions, but occasional offensives managed to take over several surrounding villages. The group has used those havens as launching points for their attacks against security and civilians over the past months.
The Iraqi government declared victory over IS in Mosul, the group’s former capital in Iraq, earlier this month, and said it was going to proceed towards other group holdouts.
The Ministry of Defense said last week that though the Joint Operations Command gives “special attention” to the liberation of the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, as the next target, troops can launch simultaneous operations also targeting IS havens west of Anbar.
Last week, Iraqi warplanes reportedly dropped millions of messages telling locals that liberation offensives for the province were nearing.