Iraqi allied forces have liberated 70 percent of ISIL terrorist group’s last bastion in the country, local source said on Friday.
Sputnik International quoted Naeem al-Kaoud, head of the Anbar council’s security committee, as saying that Iraqi army, backed by volunteer forces have so far liberated 70 percent of Al-Qaim province, the last bastion of the terrorist group in west Iraq, near the border with Syria.
Al-Kaoud said that the allied forces have liberated the southern and the western fronts of Al-Qaim, noting that they are advancing now the province’s center.
Earlier on Friday, military commanders said thatIraqi forces on Friday entered Al-Qaim.
Early Friday morning, Iraqi forces unleashed a barrage of artillery fire against Takfiris’ positions inside the town, backed by Hashd Shaabi volunteer forces.
Troops from the army and the elite Counter Terrorism Service “have started the assault on the center of Al-Qaim,” Staff Major General Noman Abed al-Zobai, the commander of the 7th Division, told AFP from the scene.
Al-Manar correspondent also reported that the allied forces are chasing the terrorist in Al-Qaim city.
Shortly afterwards, another officer said on condition of anonymity that the town’s Gaza district had fallen from ISIL hands.
“Counter Terrorism Service units and tribal fighters have liberated Gaza after violent clashes, leaving some terrorists dead, while others withdrew towards the centre of Al-Qaim,” he said.
The Hashd forces, also known as Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said in a statement that Takfiris had set fire to civilians’ houses in the southwestern neighborhood to make it hard to see them from the air.
Government forces launched the operation last week to seize Al-Qaim and its surroundings, a pocket of barren desert along the Euphrates river near the border with Syria.