Iraq recaptures more areas from Daesh south of Fallujah
The Iraqi army and allied volunteer fighters have managed to recapture more territories from Daesh terrorists on the outskirts of the recently-liberated city of Fallujah.
Security sources said on Thursday that the Iraqi troops retook control of two districts of Albu Ifan and al-Dhaviyah south of Fallujah in Anbar Province.
The new gains come days after the Iraqi military announced the full liberation of Fallujah, located around 60 kilometers from Baghdad, but clashes have continued with the remaining militants around the city.
Raji al-Issawi, a member of the security committee in Anbar, said the recapture of the two districts marked the complete defeat of Daesh in the southern countryside of the city.
He said the two areas were taken back with almost no confrontation as the militants escaped before the military operation began.
Military sources also announced earlier on Thursday the liberation of the nearby al-Hossa area.
Major General Ismail al-Mahlawi, head of the Anbar Operations Command, said Iraqi tribal fighters contributed to the offensive in Hossa, which inflicted heavy losses on Daesh terrorists.
Fallujah fell to Daesh in early 2014. The city was a key bastion for the militants as they launched various attacks on civilians and security forces from the area.
Meanwhile, military officials said Thursday that Iraq’s air force and coalition warplanes have targeted the Daesh militants fleeing Fallujah in large convoys over the past few days.
The air raids killed some 150 Daesh members and destroyed some 260 vehicle belonging to the militants.
“Our heroes in the military aviation destroyed more than 200 vehicles,” said Yahya Rasool, a spokesman of the operations in Anbar, adding commandos also seized large quantities of weapons and ammunition from the terrorists.
The convoy of several hundred vehicles was reportedly heading south of Fallujah toward areas near the Syrian border, where Daesh still holds territories.
Mahalawi said another 60 Daesh vehicles were destroyed as a convoy was heading northwest of Fallujah.
“This is a desperate attempt on the part of the terrorists to flee to their areas in al-Qaim near the Syrian border and Tharthar,” Mahalawi said.
Tharthar is a lake north of the Euphrates, through which Daesh militants still have lines to reach their main stronghold, Mosul.
Iraqi forces are now engaged in a military operation to regain control of Mosul.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi repeatedly vowing that the year 2016 will be the year Daesh would be “wiped out of the Iraqi soil.”