Iraq’s army has launched a major operation in Anbar Province to clear the area of al-Qaeda-affiliated militants.
The operation was carried out in the northern and southern areas of the city of Ramadi, reports said on Tuesday.
The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar Province have been the scene of deadly clashes between the Iraqi army and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants over the past days.
Iraqi military officials said that dozens of militants loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have so far been killed in Anbar.
The violence broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”
The violence later spread to nearby Fallujah, where security forces withdrew from some areas.
On Monday, Iraqi forces killed 30 ISIL militants in Fallujah. Local tribesmen supporting the Iraqi government also killed three militants and injured four others in Ramadi.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged the people of Fallujah and its tribes to “expel the terrorists” so that “their areas are not subjected to the dangers of armed clashes.”