Iraqi forces make new gains against Daesh terrorists in Anbar
Iraqi forces have managed to make fresh gains against Daesh terrorists in the country’s embattled western province of Anbar as they continue clean-up operations against the extremist group across the country.
On Saturday, Iraqi troops established full control over Ramadi Barrage on the Euphrates River and flushed the Takfiri terrorists out of areas surrounding the construct as part of operations to liberate the strategic provincial capital city of Ramadi from the clutches of Daesh militants, Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported.
Later in the day, Iraqi fighter jets also struck a militant hideout close to Ramadi Teaching Hospital, and killed a senior Daesh militant commander, identified by the nom de guerre Sami Omar Badiwi al-Issawi.
Iraqi security forces also gunned down two terrorists clad in explosives-laden jackets in Albu Issa district of the western city of Fallujah. The Takfiris had planned to target Iraqi government troopers.
Additionally, Iraqi soldiers coupled with rapid response units engaged militants in the city of Husaybah, which lies seven kilometers (4.5 miles) east of Ramadi, killing scores of them. A number of improvised explosive devices were destroyed following the skirmishes.
Also on Saturday, Iraqi forces seized full control of Ramadi’s northern neighborhood of Zawiyah.
“The district is cleared from Daesh elements, but there are still bombs and booby traps remaining intact,” said Major General Ismail al-Mahlawi, a commander of the Anbar Operation, adding that experts with the engineering unit of the army have already began demining streets and houses of Zawiyah.
The advance came just hours after the military and pro-government forces pushed their way into the Hoz neighborhood of Ramadi.
The latest round of operations for Ramadi began on December 22. Reports say the Iraqi forces are now only 800 meters (about half a mile) from the main government complex of Ramadi.
Military sources have declined to give a time frame for the final push to drive back militants from Ramadi, saying the campaign’s priority is to avoid casualties among civilians and the troops, no matter how long it takes.