Iraq

Iraq Forces close to clearing Anbar of militants: PM

Iraq Forces close to clearing Anbar of militants

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says government troops are approaching the final elimination of militants in Anbar Province.

Maliki made the comments in his weekly televised address on Wednesday.

”We are on the threshold of final decisiveness, God willing, to mop up remnants of the terrorists,” he said.

He also stressed that there was an urgent need for a government plan to return life in the province back to normal.

“As the terrorists started to detain citizens as human shields, the government was seriously beginning to settle the security situation in Anbar Province,” he added.

Fighting erupted in the Ramadi area in Anbar on December 30, 2013 when security forces cleared a protest camp, which the government said was being used by militants for launching terrorist attacks.
The removal of the camp sparked protests from Iraqi lawmakers who urged the army to leave the city.

But the withdrawal of government forces from the city paved the way for the al-Qaeda-linked group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants to move in and seize the provincial capital of Ramadi and the neighboring city of Fallujah.

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