Iraqi Forces Start Main Offensive To Retake Western Towns
“A military operation has begun in the western areas of Anbar to liberate them from Daesh,” Major General Qassem Mohammedi, commander of Jazeera Operations Command, said on Thursday; Press TV reported.
He said the Iraqi Army’s 7th Division, police personnel and pro-government fighters – commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi – are involved in the military campaign.
Iraqi army soldiers and their allies plan to liberate the towns of Anah, Rawa and al-Qaim on the Euphrates River, and the most immediate objective of the new offensive is Anah, situated 258 kilometers northwest of the capital Baghdad.
“Our forces started advancing from Haditha towards Anah from several directions,” Mohammedi noted.
Nadhom al-Jughaifi, a commander with the Haditha tribal fighters, said zero hour had come to liberate the western areas.
Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters have liberated large parts of Anbar over the past months. They won back the city of Falluja, located roughly 69 kilometers west of Baghdad on the Euphrates, in mid-June 2016.
Iraqi government forces and their allies retook the provincial city of Ramadi on December 28, 2015, and raised the national flag above the government complex there. Ramadi had fallen to Daesh extremists in May that year.
Iraqi troops are currently involved in a joint and multi-pronged operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists. The liberation offensive started on October 17 last year.