iraqi forces launch artillery attack preparing to storm anbar
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Amid tensions in Kirkuk

Iraqi forces launch artillery attack preparing to storm Anbar

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Arab Today, arab today Iraqi forces launch artillery attack preparing to storm Anbar

Iraqi forces launched an offensive to capture Rawa, the last remaining town under ISIS control.
Baghdad - Najla Al Taee

Iraqi forces launched an offensive on Saturday to capture Rawa, the last remaining town under ISIS control, leaving the extremist organization’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” on the verge of complete defeat. Two Iraqi infantry divisions and tribal forces are participating in the offensive to recapture Rawa and its surrounding areas along the border with Syria, the Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The defeat of militants in Rawa would mark the end of ISIS’ era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. Syrian forces declared victory over the militants on Thursday, after seizing the last substantial town on the border with Iraq.

The forces and their allies were still fighting ISIS in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria. Last week, Iraqi forces recaptured the larger town of al-Qaim, in what Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called "record time", leaving just a few small pockets of land in ISIS hands, including Rawa and surrounding scraps of desert.

The region has been known as a hotbed of insurgency and smuggling since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, long before the arrival of ISIS in 2014.

Twelve Islamic State militants were killed and injured as they attempted infiltration toward eastern Salahuddin, a security source said on Friday. “The artillery of Al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] shelled Islamic State militants who attempted infiltration from Hamreen mountains toward Tuz Khurmatu region. Three militants were killed, while nine others were wounded,” the source told Baghdad Today.

The militants, according to the source, “attempted fleeing toward west of Tuz Khurmatu and north of Diyala to launch attacks.” In October, Iraqi troops announced imposing full control on Hamreen mountains that stretch out between Diyala and Kirkuk provinces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and the Joint Operations Command declared in September the launch of first phase of operations to liberate Hawija and eastern Shirqat, located north of Salahuddin. The Iraqi army said in September 2016 its forces recaptured the western coast of Shirqat, located south of Mosul, on the west bank of the Tigris river, after being surrounded for months by Iraqi troops and the pro-government Shi’ite militias.

Having recaptured Hawija in Kirkuk, Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh as well as Annah and Qaim towns in Anbar, Iraqi troops still have only western Anbar’s towns of Rawa and Qaim remain under the militant’s control.

In the same context, Several soldiers were injured in a blast caused by remnants of the battles against Islamic State in west of Anbar, a military source said on Friday. Speaking to AlSumaria News, “bombs, planted by IS, exploded today targeting army troops in al-Rayhana, east of Annah town.”

“The explosion left several soldiers wounded,” the source, who preferred anonymity, said without providing details about the number of the wounded, who were taken to hospital for treatment. Security troops still comb the liberated regions in western Anbar from the landmines planted during the war against the militant group.

Iraqi army announced the total recapture of the town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area in September. Troops also liberated Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria. Operations were launched, late October, to liberate Qaim and Rawa towns, which have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced on Friday liberation of Qaim in record time. Operations in Rawa are expected to be launched soon. Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

One-hundred and fourteen Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts during October, according to a monthly release by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, coming in the first place with 177 civilian casualties (38 killed, 139 injured). Anbar province followed with 36 killed and 55 injured, and then Kirkuk with 18 killed and 33 injured.

On the other hand, A drone has been downed above governmental building in central Kirkuk, a security source said on Friday. Speaking to AlSumaria News, the source said, “a drone that was flying above governmental building toward Atlas street in central Kirkuk has been downed by the Counter-Terrorism Service.”

“Investigations have been conducted to identify the drone’s type and work and whether it was for taking photographs,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous, added. Security services banned drones, last year, for security reasons, as they were used by Islamic State militants for surveillance and taking photographs of military targets.

Sabah al-Noaman, spokesperson for the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, denied on Thursday news on confrontations with gunmen in Kirkuk, saying situation under control. This came after several news reports mentioned that unidentified gunmen opened fire against a patrol of joint troops in the region, located east of Kirkuk without casualties reported among security personnel.

On Sunday, two suicide attacks took place in central Kirkuk, leaving a civilian killed and 21 others wounded. Operations were launched in late September to liberate Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, before Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced freeing the town in October. Iraqi troops managed to retake several Islamic State strongholds including Mosul and Tal Afar in Nineveh, Hawija in Kirkuk and Annah and Qaim in Anbar.

 

 

 

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iraqi forces launch artillery attack preparing to storm anbar iraqi forces launch artillery attack preparing to storm anbar

 



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