Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Two Iraqi soldiers and Islamic State militants were killed in confrontations that occurred as army attempted to break into the group’s stronghold in western Anbar, a military source was quoted saying.
“Fierce clashes broke out between Iraqi troops and militants as the forces attempted invading Qaim from the eastern side,” the source told DPA. “Iraqi troops face resistance by terrorists that hamper its advance toward the center of the town.”
“Thirteen militants and two soldiers were killed, while three others were wounded,” the source said adding that the killed and injured were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Earlier on the day, huge number of militants were killed as Iraqi fighter jets managed to shell an IS convoy, composed of ten vehicles, driven by the militants. All were destroyed as they attempted to escape from the town to Syria’s Al-BuKamal.
In a daily press briefing on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi promised announcing liberation of Qaim within “few days”.
Many IS militants reportedly fled Qaim heading to al-BuKamal in Syria, after several leaders ran away and were killed in airstrikes by the Iraqi and U.S.-Coalition jets.
Operations were launched last week to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns.
Each 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”.