Iraq: ISIL Preparing for Large-Scale Attack on Gov’t Forces’ Positions at Syria, Jordan Borders
The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted the sources in Western Iraq as saying that the ISIL has prepared its forces, including suicide attackers and military convoys in the towns of Anah, Raveh and South of al-Qa’em in Western al-Anbar province to kick off large-scale attacks on the government forces’ strongholds in al-Waleed border-crossing between Iraq and Syria and along the highway near the town of al-Rotbeh up to Tarbil at the country’s border with Jordan.
Another source said that ISIL is to launch large-scale attacks on the Iraqi forces’ positions in the town of Haditheh West of al-Anbar and on the two towns of Raveh and Anah, adding that ISIL enjoys a number of suicide bombers, bomb-laden vehicles and heavy weapons in its military columns.
Relevant reports said last week that the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), commonly known as Hashd al-Shaabi, continued their anti-terrorism operation at border with Syria, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
Hashd al-Shaabi targeted a drone of ISIL at Iraq’s border with Syria.
The Iraqi popular forces targeted a bomb-laden drone of ISIL terrorists near Hashd al-Shaabi positions.
Hashd al-Shaabi’s missile units, meantime, targeted three military vehicles of ISIL at border with Syria.
The Syrian government forces, backed up by volunteer fighters from popular defense groups, have linked up with Iraqi army troops for the first time in years after they took control of a vast territory in Syria’s semi-arid Southeastern region of al-Badiyeh (desert) in mid-June.
The head of the Britain-based monitoring group, Rami Abdurrahman, said the link between Iraqi and Syrian forces would allow Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Shaabi, to move inside Syria and help the Syrian government’s campaign against ISIL in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur.
The Iraqi army forces continued their military advances against ISIL terrorists and managed to take control of al-Waleed crossing and a strip along Iraq’s borders with Syria and Jordan few days ago.
The Iraqi forces under the joint command headquarters started a massive military operation dubbed as ‘al-Fajr’ to take control of the border strip.
The military operation took place with the participation of border guards, tribal forces and back up of the Iraqi fighter jets.
Al-Waleed is close to the al-Tanf border crossing on the common border, which is the key to the Baghdad-Damascus Highway and also links up to the main Baghdad-Amman route.
ISIL seized al-Waleed in May 2015, almost a year into its deadly terror campaign in Syria and Iraq. It used the bridgehead to expand its grip there to the entirety of the common border.
Syrian forces are also advancing toward al-Tanf, where the US forces have been based since last year on a mission to train anti-Damascus militants.
The first units of the Syrian Army troops and popular forces continued to advance against the terrorist groups in Syria’s Badiyeh and deployed at the borders with Iraq Northeast of al-Tanf border-crossing mid-June.
According to a military source, deployment of the Syrian forces at the border with Iraq along with the final operation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa and simultaneous advances of the Syrian soldiers from Southeastern Aleppo towards Western Raqqa would have such positive impacts on the trend of the liberation of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur cities that would end in the collapse of the ISIL front in the two regions in coming weeks.
ISIL terrorists in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur are under the siege of the SDF from the Northern and Western directions and the army and its allies form the South and South-West, while the Iraqi army and the volunteer forces of Hashd al-Shaabi have laid siege on ISIL in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from Iraq’s Western border.