Iraqi forces have successfully combed some 175 villages located in the desert regions between the Anbar and Nineveh provinces on the lookout for lingering Daesh terrorists.
“Army, Federal Police and al-Hashd al-Shaabi, backed by military jets, concluded the first part of the second phase of the operations,” said the country’s War Media cell on Sunday.
It added that the focus of the combing operations was on the villages and regions between south of Hatra and north of Rawah.
“Our forces were able to comb 175 villages, five bridges and crossings as well as an airport on an area of 14,100 square kilometers,” it said, adding that large amounts of equipment left behind by the terrorists were discovered and destroyed.
Meanwhile, Major General Abdul Amir Yarallah stated that combing operations in four villages in north of Rawah on an area of 740 square kilometers were also successfully completed.
On Thursday, Yarallah announced the launch of the second phase of the offensive aimed at clearing the vast desert near the border with Syria, which extends to the northern provinces of Nineveh and Salahuddin and the western province of Anbar.
The forces ended the first phase of the offensive on November 17, when they drove out the Daesh extremists from their last urban stronghold in Iraq and raised the Iraqi flag over buildings in the western town of Rawah and nearby border areas north of the Euphrates River.