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Iraq: Gov’t Troops Closing in on Rataba after Remarkable Advance in Region

17 May 2016 14:38



Provincial commanders in Anbar province disclosed that government troops have made remarkable advances in Rataba outskirts and are likely to seize back the strategic city any hour now.

“The Iraqi security forces are now only 20 kilometers away from Rataba city,” the Iraqi media quoted Commander of Rataba military operations Major General Hadi Zarich as saying on Tuesday.

Major General Zarich said that the ISIL has laid bombs in all bus stations and restaurants along an international highway in the Western part of Anbar province.

“The Iraqi army, volunteer and tribal forces have liberated 60 kilometers of a road between al-Sakar and Rataba city,” he added.

On Sunday, the Iraqi army started a fresh round of military operations in Anbar province to seize back Rataba city.

“The ISIL terrorists and their families have withdrawn from Rataba fearing the Iraqi army’s operations in the city and fled to the city of al-Qaem in the Western part of Ramadi,” Iraqi Army’s Military Operations in Anbar Province Major General Ali Ebrahim Daboun told FNA.

Earlier, the Iraqi forces had managed to win back the city of Heet, Doulab region, Zakhikha region and al-Baghdadi-Heet supply route.

On Sunday, Iraq’s Interior Ministry announced that a sum of 3,452 ISIL terrorists have been killed in the Iraqi army operations since the beginning of 2016.

“In addition to killing hundreds of Takfiri terrorists over the past five months, the Iraqi federal police troops have won back 318 cities, village and regions since the beginning of January 2016,” the Arabic-language media outlets quoted Iraqi Interior Ministry Sa’ad Ma’an as saying.

Iraq’s Western provinces have been the scenes of increasing attacks on the ISIL terrorists in recent months.

On Friday, a senior Iraqi tribal leader underlined that the ISIL has been badly weakened in Anbar province in Western Iraq, and the Takfiri terrorists’ leaders are fleeing towards Turkish borders.

“The artillery and missile attacks of the Iraqi army on ISIL’s military positions have forced the terrorists and their leaders to escape to the country’s borders with Turkey,” Al-Anbar tribal leader Sheikh Hamid al-Hayes told FNA.

He reiterated that the Iraqi joint forces continue their mop-up operations in Anbar province.

Sheikh al-Hayes said that the fugitive ISIL commanders have also taken their families to Turkey.

On Wednesday, Iraqi security sources in Anbar Province announced that the Iraqi forces besieged three villages in al-Baghdadai Island, West of Ramadi, in preparation for storming and cleansing it from the ISIL control.

“The joint forces from al-Jazeera and al-Badiya Operations Command in Anbar Province and al-Jaghaifa tribal fighters managed to besiege three villages in Baghdadi Island in Heet District,” the source said in a statement, Iraqi News reported.

“The joint forces are preparing to storm and cleanse the villages that were besieged from ISIL grip,” the source, who asked anonymity, added.

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