Iraqi army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, have fully liberated a village in the country’s beleaguered western province of Anbar from the grip of Daesh terrorist group as operations continue to win back the militant-held areas there.
Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network reported on Tuesday that Iraq’s government troops and their allies had managed to retake al-Rayhaniyah.
Earlier, the media bureau of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) had announced the start of an operation to reclaim the town of Anah and the nearby village of al-Rayhaniyah .
The head of Anah’s municipal council, Abdel Karim al-Ani, confirmed the onset of the offensive, noting that security forces had opened a road out of the town to allow civilians to flee.
Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah stated that infantry units and members of the Federal Police Force, supported by fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi, were involved in the offensive against Daesh terrorists.
A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the operation was “developing along three axes,” noting that Iraqi army helicopters and fighter jets from the so-called US-led coalition were providing air support for forces on the ground.
The development came a day after Daesh executed four of its leaders as they attempted to flee Anah.
Iraqi army troops and their allies are expected to next target the towns of Rawah and al-Qa’im.
In another development and while addressing reporters during a weekly press briefing in Baghdad on September 6, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that government forces, in full cooperation with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, would soon launch an operation to liberate Hawijah town in the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk from Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Daesh terrorists took control of Hawijah after capturing Mosul and several other Iraqi cities in mid-2014.
Drone strike kills 2 Daesh leaders in Salahuddin
Separately, two high-ranking Daesh commanders were killed when an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle conducted an assault in the central province of Salahuddin.
A local source said the aerial assault targeted a vehicle as it was travelling along an agricultural road on the outskirts of al-Shirqat town.
One of those killed was reportedly an assistant to Daesh’s security commander in eastern Shirqat, while another was a high-ranking Daesh member in the town’s countryside.
Over 12,000 refugees return to their hometowns in Nineveh
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration says more than 12,000 internally displaced persons have returned of to their hometowns in the northern province of Nineveh.
Jawan Mahmoud, a provincial official, said 12.553 refugees had left camps across the province as well as the northern city of Dohuk, and returned to their native regions.
Mahmoud added that the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration, in coordination with the Ministry of Transportation, had earmarked dozens of trucks for transporting the refugees’ furniture and other possessions.
On August 31, Iraq’s prime minister said the city of Tal Afar and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
The recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of Iraqi army soldiers, Federal Police Force, Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and the Interior Ministry’s elite rapid response forces, Abadi added.
Twin bombings kill 3, injure 34 in northern Iraq restaurant
Furthermore, at least three people lost their lives and nearly three dozen others sustained injuries when two bombers blew themselves up inside a restaurant frequented by Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters in the town of Hajaj.
“Two attackers detonated their explosive belts in a restaurant in Hajaj, killing three people and wounding 34. A third assailant was shot dead by security forces,” Interior Ministry spokesman, Saad Maan, said in a statement.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadly attack, but such assaults bear the hallmarks of those carried out by Daesh Takfiri terrorists.